Monday, July 23, 2007

The Open Championship - ROMERO Almost Made It Two For Argentina

How close we were from achieving an amazing feat of winning a double Major in Golf.

Well that would have been a fantastic story not just in the British Open but also throughout the world of golf, if Andres ROMERO did not throw away the claret jug at the 17th hole. The 26-year-old Argentine was the improbable leader at Carnoustie with two holes to play, looking invincible after a run of six birdies in seven holes. But leading a major can do strange things to the mind, especially when you're a golfer with no big wins.

"I feel very pleased, but the pressure suddenly caught up with me, especially the pressure at the last two holes in such a big event," Romero said through an interpreter.

His troubles began when he drove into the rough at the 17th and wavered between which club to use. Finally deciding on a 2-iron, he hit a sharp hook that dove into the wall of the Barry Burn, which sent the ball ricocheting straight right toward the 18th fairway.
The ball stayed dry, but it sailed past the out-of-bounds line between the two closing holes. Romero had to take a drop and switched to a 3-wood to reach the green. He missed the putt and staggered off with a double bogey, his lead suddenly gone, a weak smile about all he could manage.
"I hit a very bad second shot at the 17th," Romero said, "but I also had a lot of very bad luck."

After that Padraig HARRINGTON made an eagle at 14 and Sergio GARCIA knocked in a birdie at 13 and ROMERO went from first to third just like that.

In fact he was lucky on the last to not go out of bounds on the right side of the 18th green but was still unable to get down in two fro his par. ROMERO's arms seemed to get even shorter when a weak chip came up 12 feet short of the flag. The par-saving putt lipped out; the bogey, as it turned out, kept him from making it a three-way playoff with eventual winner HARRINGTON and GARCIA.

HARRINGTON made a double bogey at No. 18 - hitting two shots into the burn - and GARCIA followed him in with a bogey. Those two went to extra holes at 7-under 277, with Harrington claiming his first major title.
It has to be a very unfortunate end as ROMERO was hitting more good shots than anyone during the course on Sunday, finishing with 10 birdies in all. In addition to sinking putts from up to 25 feet, he holed out from a bunker at No. 11.
But the mistake that he had made on the 17th prove to be too costly, a reminder to many golf fans of Jean VAN DE VELDE’s series when the Open was last played at this venue.
He laughed at the comparisons to the VAN DE VELDE, who went wading in the Barry BURN while squandering a three-stroke lead on the 72nd hole at the '99 Open. At least the Frenchman got into the playoff, losing to Paul LAWRIE.
"I did it at 17, not 18," ROMERO said. "But I could be put into that category by some. I certainly wasn't thinking about Jean VAN DE VELDE at that moment. I was very concentrated and what happened happened. Unfortunately, it ended with a double bogey and a bogey."

ROMERO never considered laying up out of the rough at 17, saying it wasn't thick enough to keep him from reaching the green. Club selection was his major concern.
"I was aware I was leading," Romero said. "I hit a 2-iron. I was not certain it was the club I should play and perhaps it was my mistake. I was doubting between and wood and an iron. The second time I used the right club."
It was a mistake he'll long regret.
"I was thinking of hitting the 3-wood. I should have hit the 3-wood, stuck with my original thought," ROMERO said. "I didn't. That was the result."
He missed a chance to give Argentina its second straight win in the majors. Last month, Angel CABRERA won the U.S. Open at Oakmont.
ROMERO, who has a victory on the second tier European Challenge Tour to go with three wins in his homeland, is still seeking his first victory on the European Tour. Despite that rather thin resume, he didn't feel out of his element among the Open's leading contenders.
"I am happy. The best players in the world are here and I played with the No. 2 in the world (Jim FURYK)," ROMERO said. "I felt very comfortable playing with him and I felt I belonged here."
Meanwhile El Pato CABRERA’s day was not as promising as it was on Day 1 as he finished of the course at 34th place with 3 shots above par.
Nevertheless what a year it has been for our golfers. Mundo Albiceleste would like to give a shout out to both of them.

1 comment:

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