Gallery psychology at Congressional during the U.S. Open
Lee Westwood crushed a drive on the fifth hole Thursday at the U.S. Open, way past playing partners Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald, leaving only a sand wedge to the green – a green light special. He proceeded to stick the wedge in the ground, winding up in the 1st cut of rough next to the front bunker, at least 10 yards short of his target. And it got worse as he layed the sod over the chip shot, not even reaching the putting surface. Already upset, Westwood’s 15 foot putt for par from the fringe never threatened the hole, finishing less than a foot away, and he mindlessly tapped in for bogey. At that particular moment he was so mad, he probably was considering killing something.
Then a funny thing happened: Applause from the gallery.
What were they thinking? He played the hole horribly and there was nothing to applaud. Not only that, but the last thing he wanted to do was acknowledge that anyone was watching that butcher job. When the applause came, what Westwood was experiencing was something akin to embarrassment. Better the gallery stay silent.
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