It looks like a foregone conclusion. But nothing is in golf. That’s why we play.
Jeongeun Lee6 is five strokes ahead of the 19-year-old American Yealimi Noh in the finals of the Amundi Evian championship, which despite massive promises and several close calls as a professional does not yet have to win. The last member of the last three on Sunday is Lydia Ko, who placed the last green for par with three putti and a total of 12 out of a total of six behind the leader.
With a third round driver that appeared to have a fairway search and was 22 yards longer than their long-term average, Six added a 3 under par 68 to their 36-hole scoring record in the Major Championship. But for a dragged short iron on the 17th that bumped down the mountainside and behind a few spruce trees, the lead might have been greater. But when she made a mistake, as she did three times on Saturday with bogeys at 3, 10 and 17, Six recovered almost immediately and never looked upset. After the bogey at 3, she screwed the fifth par 3. Then, after the bogey at 10, she hit a perfect gap wedge from 89 yards at 11, which jumped forward, turned back, and went for an eagle. And after the pulled approach at 17, where she took her medicine, pitched far from the hole and made two putts for the bogey, Six hit the drive of the day at 18, leaving her a mid-iron in the par-5. Even then, she played conservatively all the way to the back edge of the pinned needle. From then on she calmly climbed up and down to do birdie and an imperative lead.
Everything seems to be under control, which is one of the most dangerous places historically.
In 1996 Greg Norman had a six-shot lead over Nick Faldo and went into the final round of the Masters. That Saturday night, the Association of Golf Writers had their annual dinner at the Augusta National Clubhouse. As they adjourned, the famous British writer Peter Dobereiner met Norman, coming out of the locker room, put his arm around him and said, “Don’t worry, Greg, old boy. You never could screw that up. “
Faldo won when she was five.
And since we are in France, does anyone remember Jean van de Velde? The Frenchman led a three-shot lead on the last tee of the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie Links (where the AIG Women’s Open will be played later that summer). For those who may remember, the next 20 minutes were the most confusing in the history of the great championships. A stray tee shot, an approach that ricocheted off the stands; a knee-high rough garbage, followed by a ball in the surf as the tide set in, while van de Velde took off his socks, rolled up his pants and waded into the water as the rain began to pepper the landscape. One British golf writer, watching the folly from the comfortable media meal, a cup of tea on its luscious midsection, said, “There’s a reason the French haven’t won a war in this century.” It was as good an explanation as any other.
Paul Laurie won The Open in a playoff.
Sometimes things happen. Two months ago, Lexi Thompson was five strokes ahead of the final nine of the US Women’s Open at the Olympic Club. Thompson didn’t play badly in the last nine. But Olympic remains undefeated in exaggerated light misses.
Yuka Saso defeated Nasa Hataoka in a playoff.
However, there are positive examples. In 1997, after playing the third round of the Masters with Tiger Woods, Colin Montgomery marched into the media center and announced that “Tiger Woods will win this golf tournament. It’s over.”
Indeed it was. Woods shot 69 on Sunday and won at 12, a Masters record. Three years later he did better. After Tiger hit a tee in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning (when he finished the second round fog) of the US Open 2000, he shot 71:67 at Pebble Beach over the weekend and won the US Open with a record 15 strokes, an ad that resulted in one of the biggest comment lines in history. After Tiger hit a ball out of the rough and over a tree onto the green with a 7 iron on the sixth hole, Roger Maltbie said, “It’s just not a fair fight.”
Is Six, who already has a big championship, the 2019 US Women’s Open, on their résumé today Tiger Woods? Jean van de Velde? Or are such comparisons grossly unfair?
You know the answer. It’s golf. Everything can happen.
Jeongeun Lee6 will give everything she has on Sunday. After all, it is a woman who has learned English on her own in two years, until she can have a conversation without a break and even be interviewed in a second language on television. She is also someone who has already faced hardship, accepted fear, and overcome both.
“I will play the same (as) today,” she said when asked about her position in the finals. “I don’t know tomorrow’s weather. Maybe it’s not supposed to be nice, so I just focus on my backswing and rhythm, only focus on the process, not the results. “
She said this in flawless English, which shows her discipline and determination. It is not a guarantee. But it is a good sign to go into the final round with a lead of 5 shots.