Play of the Week 3

October 22, 2010

This week’s POTW focuses on a guy you’ve probably never heard of: Robert Garrigus. From his name, you would suspect he’s an Irish blacksmith rather than a golfer. And, with the strength of the great Garrigus blacksmiths, Robert currently ranks #1 on the PGA Tour in driving distance–that’s right, it’s not Bubba, not DJ, not JB or Boo; it’s Garrigus.

(taken from Garrigus’s ESPN profile,

Garrigus (along with 4 others) shot 7-under-par 64 at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. So why is Garrigus the spotlight of this weeks POTW? Well, earlier this year, Garrigus suffered what is perhaps the most epic collapse in PGA Tour history. Greg Norman’s Masters collapse in 1996 covered the entire 18 holes of the final round, and it was due largely to Nick Faldo’s incredible 67 on the final 18. (see Van de Velde’s loss at the British Open was a 2-shot lead on the 18th hole. While it did occur in a major, with Van de Velde standing on the 18th tee at Carnoustie, it was foreseeable that he could make a 6 on that golf hole.

But Garrigus tops these all, in my humble opinion. Garrigus carried a 3-shot lead into the final hole of the St. Jude Classic. I watched in epic horror as Garrigus quickly and painfully dissected his lead. See the clips below.

See also

One shot blocked far left into the water off the tee. Drop. A terrible attempt at a hero shot, luckily hits a tree and doesn’t go in the water. Chip out from there. Onto the green. 2 putts. Unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Here was a guy who had never won on Tour; he had played beautifully all week; at the last moment, it was spoiled.

But he had a playoff. He could still win. Then, as a sign of his inevitable doom, Garrigus ripped a 300+ yard 3-wood, the ball landing directly behind a tree. He had no shot to the green. He chipped out, played up to the green, and then, from 25 feet, barely missed the putt, rolling over the edge.

Now, don’t get me wrong; there are a lot of reasons not to like Garrigus: his unbelievably Irish grill to match his name (although he is American, oddly enough), his bobby-stick of a putter (28″ long–about the size of a big Mag-Lite), or, just plain envy of his unbelievable ability to kill the golf ball. But you couldn’t help but hurt for the guy, seeing this go down; his one chance to win, to be guaranteed a spot at the Masters (from ranking/money list); it was all gone. Sure, he made a good paycheck–but he lost over $500,000 by making a 7 on the last hole.

Since the PF’s encouragement last week led Rocco to victory (see POTW 2 and 2.5), Robert, we’re pulling for ya! Even though it’s not a regular Tour event, I hope you can avenge some of the demons that rose on the 72nd hole of the St. Jude.

Keep bombing ’em!


Comments from LG: See “Conversation: POTW 3 – Garrigus vs. Van de Velde” above

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