It was quite an exciting finish to yesterday’s Byron Nelson.
First Adam Scott had to make a birdie putt to get into a playoff with Ryan Moore. Then, he blasted his way out of a bunker and sank a 50 foot putt to win on the third hole of sudden death.
It’s interesting how the strategy changes in a playoff—what essentially is a match play event. On the second hole of the playoff, Moore had hit a ball to the far side of an undulating green, some sixty feet away. At that point, you could see Scott thinking. If he played it safe, and got his ball inside Moore’s he could be sure of at least matching his opponent. Best case was that Moore would misread the green, and give himself a difficult second putt for par. On the other hand, if Scott went right at the flag—just over a water hazard—he might get a birdie and end it all there.
I love those sort of strategic decisions.
Scott went for the flag, just sneaking the ball over the hazard. Unfortunately, his putt didn’t break as he thought it might, and Moore’s two putts were good. So they went back to the 18th for a third hole.
A hole like that, however, really drives home Bobby Jones dictum that golf is played on a five and a half inch course—the space between your ears.