It’s bad enough when you miss a “can’t miss” putt, but it’s even harder to watch a professional golfer do it, particularly at the cost of a tour victory.
Alas, that’s what happened to I.K. Kim yesterday on the 18th hole at the LPGA’s Kraft Nabisco Championship when her one-foot putt went wide, curling around the rim of the hole and settling upon the grass. She just stood there for a moment, one hand on her mouth, the other leaning on her putter, the picture of disbelief.
That putt would have secured the victory. Instead, she dropped into a playoff with Sun Young Yoo, and lost to Yoo on the first playoff hole.
All we can say is: “Let he or she who has not yipped cast the first stone…” Even the greatest in the world are vulnerable on the green.
Tiger Woods was the closest thing to invulnerable on the green in the modern era. Between 2002 and 2009, he sank 2,691 out of 2,700 putts from three feet. And three feet is never a “gimme.”
Now, with the Masters unfolding this week, all eyes will be on the slick, nail-biting greens at Augusta National, which never fail to deliver both triumph and heartache.
Meanwhile, to Kim’s credit, even though she was rattled by her miss, she never lost sight of the big picture: “Sometimes things happen. Hopefully I’ll have better or more chances.”
And who can’t relate to that? Once again, golf becomes a metaphor for life.