Sports Letters: Applause for Van de Velde
Wednesday 21 July 1999
Van de Velde isn't exactly the first golfer in history to opt for a driver rather than use an iron on this particular hole and - commanding lead or not - it is grossly unfair to question his sanity simply because he chose an attacking policy rather than a conservative one. He could still have ended up in the rough, miles off the green if some limp-wristed, play-it-safe, iron stroke had gone stray.
Moreover, where do people get off suggesting Van de Velde is insane for contemplating playing a stroke when he was in the Burn? With every stroke worth thousands and still in with a chance of winning the Open outright if he could somehow have got on to the green and down in a single putt, Van de Velde would have been mad not to have shed shoes and socks and climbed in for a look if he thought there was a chance in a million of being able to play the ball.
In the end he bowed to the inevitable and accepted a lost stroke, but he should be applauded for considering all options, despite the colossal pressure he was under.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
Manchester United will pay Monaco £7.2m extra if Anthony Martial scores 25 goals in four years as deal could rise to incredible £58m
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...