Owen eager to get back in action after £230,000 blunder

Getting straight back on the bike is always more difficult than it sounds and for Greg Owen the challenge here at Sawgrass this week must seem akin to leaping on a Harley Davidson, in flip-flops, minus a helmet and with John Daly riding pillion.

How gallant of this Mansfield lad, therefore, to be standing at The Players Championship, not 48 hours after a three-putt from three feet had cost him a win that would have changed his life immeasurably, and to be able to say: "Just get me back on the course".

But then he had a golf bag full of perspective with him. "I have just have been asking the players to sign this bag for the Danielle Beccan Trust," he said referring to the 14-year-old killed 18 months ago in a drive-by shooting in his home county of Nottinghamshire. "There's a lot worse things happen in this world than someone blowing a golf tournament."

On Sunday it did not feel like it. A few hours after he had done a "Van De Velde" at the Bay Hill Invitational, when yanking a short one on the penultimate green that would have taken him two up and the resulting 18-incher, Owen tried to sleep. "I got two hours," he said. "I went for a walk and was washing my car at 5.30am to take my mind off it."

So what happened in that mad split second when he all but handed the trophy to the Australian Rod Pampling? "I went blank," he said. "Every golfer does it; you lean over and tap it in without thinking. What hurts is that I may miss The Masters now. It cost me $400,000 [£230,000] but it's not the money. I blew a great chance. But if you told me two years ago that I would be disappointed with second, winning $600,000 and rising to 53 in the world ... I wouldn't have believed you."

In 2004, the then 190th-ranked golfer, had an operation for a burst disc trapping a nerve in his back. His career was not the worry - walking was. "I lost the feeling in my left foot," he said. "And when I flew out to Spain for therapy, I was in such agony I had to kneel on the floor facing the seat."

His progress since has been spectacular, and a top 20 finish here would give him a first start at Augusta. "That'll take my mind off that putt," Owen said. Saves washing the car again.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test