Hes upset. But hes still in the lead ' Rod Pampling, his closest pursuer, has bogeyed the hole. The ball has settled a little more that 2 feet on the other side. Owen comes around to the ball, settles in over it, strokes ' and misses!
So, the two are tied, now playing the final hole. Pampling is on the green with his second shot. Owen takes three to reach the putting surface. And then comes the final dagger ' Owens 13-foot effort actually catches a large part of the hole. But no ' here comes the ball spinning out of the cup. Moments later, Pampling has two-putted his way to the victory ceremony.
Owen, naturally, is devastated. Wouldnt you be if you just blew about $400,000 and an exemption for tour events for the next two years?
The point of this sermon, though, is to point out something else that is a little unusual. You could perhaps understand if Greg pulled a no-show and promptly went off to suffer in silence. The shock on his face as he putted out to end it told the story of the torture he had just been though. You couldnt blame him if politely turned down the interviews.
But he didnt. With millions of people watching and wondering just what happened, Owen answered a couple of questions on national television about the breakdown. And then, he did the same with the media. When a lot of other players would ' perhaps understandably ' choose to deal with this crushing blow in private, Owen didnt look for the easy way out. He stoically answered inquiries ' 10 of them ' about the bizarre turn of events.
Well, I couldn't play better than that, said the Englishman. I played really well.
I did real great until 17. I hit a good shot on 17, and, I don't know, just lack of concentration and threw away a tournament.
He answered the queries politely, giving the public a glimpse into the final two holes
You know, you can accept missing the first putt, but just to throw away a shot like that after the hard work you've done all week is just stupid. That's what I've done, said Owen.
Question: Was it a question of just getting up there too quick for that second one?
OWEN: I have no idea. I can't even remember.
Question: How do you deal with that this now?
OWEN: I don't know. I'll find out tonight, but it's not going to be easy. You know, you don't get many chances to win on the PGA TOUR and on a great golf course like this. I had it in my pocket. It was there and I threw it away. So we'll find out. Play again next week and see what happens there.
And so it went, Owen being a straight-up guy to the end.
Was it hard to settle yourself for the 18th hole after the disaster that was 17?
OWEN: I was OK. I was pretty focused. Just the heart was just racing a bit quick, tempo sort of got up a little bit. I just got handsy on the tee ball and second shot, I wasn't comfortable with the yardage, thought it might float a little into the wind and just get a little extra and turn it as well. But I had a good putt for a playoff and missed it.
It wasnt brave, it wasnt courageous ' it was just RIGHT. Owen would have had a thousand words to say if he had won. And he had those same words when he lost.
You know the golfers that would have been rushing off the course if something similar had happened to them ' I dont need to name names here. But Greg Owen for sure showed me something Sunday. To a public which was deeply interested in just what had happened to him, he had answers.
And because he did, a lot of people know today just what goes through a world-class golfers mind when such events invariably happen. Greg Owen didnt win the tournament. But he became a winner in a lot of eyes.
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