Thomas Aiken forced to putt from bunker with ball at chest-level (GIF)
Ah yes, the wonder and splendor that is links golf. No one knows when they stroll up to the first tee box what kind of psyche-scarring shot one might have to make in order to scratch out a decent score. Or a terrible score.
Actually, a terrible score is more likely, especially if a golfer finds themselves in a situation similar to what Thomas Aiken was forced to deal with on the 18th hole Friday at Muirfield as he played his second round of the British Open.
Aiken was faced with the trickiest of lies when he found his ball hanging on the edge of a deep bunker located near the green on 18. Being right-handed, Aiken couldn’t properly address the ball without the likelihood of tumbling into the bunker. Reversing his grip and trying to putt the ball left-handed wasn’t going to do him any good, either, as he would have been just as likely to fall into the bunker with that address as well.
So, Aiken did essentially the only thing he could do: He stepped into the deep bunker with putter in hand. And, with the ball near chest-level, he took a cautious sweep at the ball while looking at lower 1/3 of his putter.
Tough break. Another inch either way and he may have had a decent shot. But that’s not how the Golf Gods impart savage justice on links courses. It’s not golf for the weak of heart.
Aiken failed to sink the putt after his best efforts to put the ball close to the hole, walked off 18 with a double bogey, finishing his day with a 9-over 80, an especially brutal score in light of the fact he carded an even-par 71 on Thursday.
The Golf Gods giveth and the Golf Gods taketh away. Especially on links courses.
[H/T Devil Ball Golf]