What it meant was defeat for Parnevik and victory for Price at the 1994 British Open at Turnberry. Both were equally important.
Midway through the final round, Parnevik had taken off from the rest of the field. Three straight birdies eased him ahead by two shots at 11-under-par. Price had been scrambling, saving pars from everywhere. At the 13th, then at the 14th, one-putt pars would hold the round together.
The whole round was set up by 13 and 14, he would later say. In previous years, I might not have got them up and down. They were equally as important as my putts on 16 and 17.
What happened on 16 and 17? First, Parnevik played them, and he birdied 16 with a 15-footer and then birdied the par-5 17th when he hit the green in two. He now led Price by two shots.
Price, though, birdied 16 with a 14-foot putt. Then down by two as he stood on 17, a 498-yard hole which many had birdied on this day, he reached the green with a driver and a mid-iron. He faced the putt, at least 50 feet, from the left rear of the green.
He sized it up from every possible angle, then settled in over it. When he hit it, the ball rolled straight, then slightly to the right, having just enough steam to drop into the cup for a 3. Price jumped high, then ran toward caddy Squeaky Medlen in celebration. He led by a stroke over Parnevik.
I couldnt believe it went in, said Price. It was dying right and dived in the right side. I just about jumped out of my skin.
Parnevik, unfortunately for him, had just played 17 and now held a one-stroke lead. But he didnt look at the nearby scoreboard and played for birdie at 18, thinking he had to have it to get into a playoff. He gambled, going right for the pin instead of playing for the middle of the green.
Parnevik caught a bunker and made bogey 5. Now, when Prices eagle putt fell into the cup at 17, Price was ahead by one. It was up to him to par the 18th hole, which he did for the victory.
Parnevik was crushed. Every time I made birdie, I heard screaming from the green behind me, he said. I thought, This is unbelievable. I knew they were doing well. So I decided not to look at the leaderboard. I thought I needed another birdie at the 18th.
If I had known my position, I would have gone for the middle of the green. Maybe I should have played the hole differently. Maybe I should have looked. I did not think it mattered.
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