Adam Scott had a four-shot lead with four holes to play in the 2012 Open Championship. You could say it was a mere formality for the 32-year old Australian who was well on his way to winning the Claret Jug. Or so he thought.
Or so everyone thought.
In what will go down as one of the most catatonic collapses in the history of the Open Championship, Scott hit four straight bogeys in the final four holes and in the process handing over a title that already had his name on it to Ernie Els.
The last round of the tournament was a stark contrast to the first round when the billowing winds at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes were nowhere to be found. But on the wind-swept final round, contenders, including Tiger Woods, all fell by the wayside one after another. Scott, however, was as steady as a rock, going eight straight holes without a bogey and setting himself up for his second major title.
And then everything came unglued.
I, for one, will not be the first to brag about my golf skills , or lack thereof I should say. But watching Scott throw away a major title he already had in the bag was about as painful as it gets. I’ve seen my fair share of them in the past, but this was no less shocking than any of them.
A four-shot lead with four holes to play.
A Claret Jug waiting to greet him after the 18th hole.
The irony is unsettling, too. The nearer he got to the finish, the farther the title slipped from his hands. Nobody’s going to forget this tournament for a while, and the sad part is that it’s all for the wrong reasons.
And as far as punters who laid wood on Scott to win before the tournament started at 30/1 odds? Words really can’t describe the hole in that pit of yours. On the flip side, Els backers who plucked him at 33/1 odds are about as dumbfounded about Scott’s epic collapse. Make no mistake, they’ll take their winnings any way they can get them, but rest assured, they know a gift from the heavens – or in this case, from Scott’s clubs – when they see one.
In the end though, no one is as shocked about the proceedings as Adam Scott.
He had the 2012 Open Championship in the bag (no pun intended).
He had it.
Or so he thought. Or so everyone thought.