Scott or Van de Velde: Bigger Open collapse?

By Jason SobelJuly 24, 2012, 12:00 am

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – Adam Scott blew a four-shot lead with four holes to play to lose the 141st Open Championship. Thirteen unlucky years ago, Jean Van de Velde wasted a three-stroke lead on the final hole at Carnoustie and lost the British Open in a playoff. Which collapse was worse? The team weighs in from Royal Lytham.


When people blow major championships in epic fashion they are said to pull a “Van de Velde.” Still, Adam Scott’s collapse was worse. Much worse.

I’ll admit it’s still a surprise to watch the highlights of Van de Velde’s meltdown in 1999 at Carnoustie. But this is a man whom  no one had heard of before the week and was unheralded. It’s not a surprise that a player with no experience caved to the pressure.

Scott is a world-class player. He’s one of the 10 best players of the last decade, he’s a winner of The Players Championship, he was once ranked No. 3 in the world and he won a World Golf Championship in impressive fashion 12 months ago. He’s on the short list of best players in golf who have not won a major. To bogey the last four holes of the British Open, when one par would assure a playoff, is mind-boggling. Van de Velde blew the last hole but still had a chance to win in a playoff. Scott didn’t make it to the playoff.

When unknown players do bizarre things, it doesn’t surprise me. When decorated players do things of this nature, it’s a bigger deal.


Jean Van de Velde’s collapse at the 1999 Open Championship was bigger than that of Adam Scott on Sunday – and it’s not even close.

We’ve all watched the excruciating video of Van de Velde attempting to successfully traverse the final hole at Carnoustie with a three-shot lead dozens of times. And on each occasion, a small part of us thinks: “Why didn’t he just 9-iron his way down the fairway and make an easy bogey?” No doubt the Frenchman has asked himself the same question every day since, instead living with the comedy of errors that occurred.

Scott did collapse at Royal Lytham & St. Annes – that much can’t be argued. Kicking away a four-shot lead by bogeying each of the final four holes may be the very definition of the word. But at no time during that four-hole stretch were conditions ever deemed easy.

On an increasingly brutal course, he made a few poor swings and had a few balky putting strokes, but never endured the, “Oh, no!” moment that encumbered Van de Velde.

After he was done, after he was awarded a second-place finish, Scott said he wouldn’t shed any tears over the loss. You couldn’t say the same for Van de Velde in '99.

Collapses leave players with heartache and disappointment. Major collapses make men cry.


Although dramatic, if not traumatic, Jan Van de Velde’s collapse in 1999 at Carnoustie was not unexpected; while everyone, including Adam Scott, expected the Australian to break through at Royal Lytham & St. Annes on Sunday – which makes it a bigger collapse.

And why wouldn’t they?

For 54 holes Scott was machine-like, artistic even. He opened with a 64 that flirted with a major-championship-record 62, followed with steady rounds of 67-68 and even when he bogeyed the first on Sunday there was no reason to think the train was coming off the tracks.

He made the turn with a 1-over 36, which considering the day’s scoring average was an adjusted even-par loop, and was 1 under through his first five holes on the inward nine. Four up with four to play with his only serious threat a charging South African who was a decade removed from his last major victory.

Scott was swinging with confidence and making the important putts before the Lytham wind or nerves or fate intervened. Even Scott was at a loss to explain his one-stroke loss to Ernie Els at the Open Championship.

“Once I was out there I felt completely in control,” Scott said. “Even the last few holes I didn't really feel like it was a case of nerves or anything like that.”

It was inexplicably shocking and a much bigger collapse than Van de Velde in ’99.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.