Van de Velde Victory Affects NCAA Final Four and Players Championship
Shock waves rippled through the cosmos yesterday when Jean Van de Velde captured his first victory in more than a decade. Unfortunately for Jean, he has only been known for the Calamity at Carnoustie and his rather ignorant stance on females competing against males at the highest levels in the game. It has been easy to forget that Jean was the first Frenchman to play his way onto the European Ryder Cup side mainly because Captain Mark James foolishly did not play his rookie at all until singles and hence, he rather understandably got crushed on that pressure packed final day at Brookline. One has to wonder what lingering effect that may have had on his game. But let’s just say that JVV hasn’t played very well.
However, lately his game has shown signs of life with some good rounds sprinkled throughout the early European season. Taking advantage of the many missing top Europeans who were in the U.S. this past weekend for The Players Championship, JVV built a large enough lead that even he could not blow. Facing the 18th hole with a 3-shot lead, JVV managed to keep his score to a double bogey this time and finally ended his 12 year drought.
An unexpected consequence of this change in form is that upsets became the norm for the rest of the day. In the NCAA basketball championship tournament, totally unheralded George Mason played like the Chicago Bulls of old and handed it to mighty Connecticut to move into the Final Four. Then Stephen Ames forgets his entire golfing life history, somehow channels the spirit of Ben Hogan into his swing and destroys the best field of the year by 6 shots or better at The Players Championship. The only suspense in that tournament was whether or not Ames would hurt himself tripping over the many corpses of golf’s best and not be able to finish. He probably works up a bigger sweat when he ties his shoes in the morning.
We should all keep our eyes on JVV, for he may hold the key to results for the entire sporting world. What’s next - will an amateur win the Masters?
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