You remember the 72nd-hole collapse of Jean van de Velde at the 1999 Open at Carnoustie? He had a three-stroke lead teeing off on the final hole of regulation, and, well … . Well, a bad tee shot followed by some bad decisions led to the loss of those three strokes and a loss to Paul Lawrie in the playoff. Goodbye Claret Jug.
But hello to the subsequent show of van de Velde’s keen sense of humor and a brave spirit that refused to let the tragic triple-bogey seven get him down. "You either smile or get depressed,” he has said about the event, “so I'd rather smile because it's something that happens in life.”
That smile became evident the following year when van de Velde was asked how he would play the final hole at St. Andrews if he had a shot at victory. He said: "I will hit a putter on the 18th this time."
Sadly, Van de Velde never had the chance to pull out his putter on a tee box, but earlier this month Martin Kaymer and Berhnard Langer did. This was part of a “Drive Your Putter” challenge issued by Mercedes Benz. Check out the video to see who won and how far they drove the ball with the putter. Let’s just say that if many of us hackers could hit our putter that far, we’d be tempted to carry one less club.