2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson: Bad Bounces
Harry How/Getty Images for The Match
Woods’ bad luck continues on the back nine.
An Internet search for the quote, “The more I practice, the luckier I get,” shows it attributed to both Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. Perhaps one of them borrowed it from the other or perhaps they each practiced a lot and received their share of luck as a result.
Whatever the case, Woods probably understands what they meant.
A voracious practicer during his early years, when he could withstand lengthy range sessions without worry of injury, Woods has parlayed his share of talent into luck at times.
Not today, though.
Losing three strokes, literally, by having his approach shot carom off the flagstick on 9 is about as bad as bad luck gets on a golf course. Sometimes that kind of thing reverses itself, the law of averages or whatever, but not this time.
For a guy who’s said the words, “I hit it great, I just couldn’t make anything” and “I played better than what the score is” more times than maybe anyone else in the game’s history, Woods owns a unique relationship with bad luck.
It continues on the back nine. It’s not as egregious as earlier, but a few putts hang on the lip and refuse to drop into the cup.
On 16, he misses left, right about in the same spot where he was in 2005, when he holed that famous chip en route to winning in a playoff. He hits nearly the exact same shot this time around. It takes the slope, rolls right toward the cup and stops. Maybe an inch from dropping.
When the crowd finally dies down from the moans and groans, one spectator offers up his voice above all others, mimicking Verne Lundqvist by yelling, “In your life!”
Even Tiger, still shaking his head, laughs at that one.