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
The muddy truth of the Christmas Truce game
Premier League: Chelsea vs West Ham match preview
Sir Alex Ferguson on Jose Mourinho: 'He's good looking, speaks five languages, wins everything - it's unfair'
The best sport selfies of 2014
Jose Mourinho on Sir Alex Ferguson: 'A good friend, a good person, a fantastic sense of humour. I like him very, very much'
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...