ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- By now, the tournament was over, with Tiger Woods on his way to another major championship.
But that didn't make it any easier on David Duval, whose approach on No. 17 found the Road Bunker, adding insult to injury.
His chance at overtaking Woods and winning his first major championship had expired several holes earlier, but Duval was still in contention for a second-place finish, tied at the time with Ernie Els and Thomas Bjorn at 11-under.
Then he hit a poor 5-iron shot, one that didn't stay right of the bunker. He needed to hit the ball 181 yards to get by the bunker and didn't, the ball coming to rest near the front edge.
That is impossible, yet Duval, after thinking about all his options, elected to play the ball. It hit the large lip and came back in the bunker. He tried again, and the ball came back. Now, sensing the desperate situation, he elected to backhand the ball to a more open space in the bunker. From there, he barely managed to get the ball on the green.
So after needing four swipes at the ball in the bunker, Duval needed two more putts for a quadruple-bogey 8.
"The first one was the best one that did not get out," Duval said. "From there, you're trying to figure out a way to get out as much as anything. And it is hard to do. And to top it off, there's virtually no sand in it, so it's hard to get under the ball.
"You know that going in. We can discuss whether it's fair or unfair, but you know going in you've got to not hit it in there."
The quad cost Duval dearly. He dropped from a tie for second to a tie for 11th, a difference of nearly $300,000.
But the 17th cost plenty of players throughout the week. It is where Woods made two of his three bogeys for the week, his lone bogey on Sunday.
The 17th easily played as the most difficult hole on Sunday and for the week. No birdies were recorded there Sunday, with just 17 for the tournament.
|If David Duval felt like hiding, he found a good spot on No. 17.|
Bob Harig, who covers golf for the St. Petersburg Times, writes a column every Tuesday for ESPN Golf Online.