Horrific hole has Havret close to tears
SANDWICH, England // Gregory Havret said he felt like crying after a card-wrecking 10 on the brutal 14th hole at rain-and-wind-lashed Royal St George's on Saturday ruined his British Open.
The Frenchman, who began the third round three-over par and still in touch with the front-runners in the tightest Open championships for years, endured the worst of the weather but was commendably holding his round together.
That was until he arrived at the 547-yard par-five monster that was played into the teeth of the 65kph gusts sweeping in from the English Channel.
"I've never had a 10 at a major and maybe only one other in my career over 10 years and 300 or so tournaments, so it happened at the worst possible time," said Havret, who was runner-up at the 2010 US Open.
"I felt like crying. It was the end of a good result for me at the British Open … the end of a lot of hopes."
Havret, 34, eventually carded an eight-over 78 as he slipped 11 over for the tournament. But for his torment on the 14th his round would have been one of the best of the players exposed to the full fury of the weather. He was three over for the other 17 holes.
"I would have definitely been in contention for top 10, then I make a 10 on the 14th, it's obviously a mistake that's cost me a lot," he said. "It happens. It's rough. To be eight over today the way I played was really cruel."
Havret's troubles began when his drive went left and he found an unplayable lie, needed a drop, then nearly hit out of bounds into more saturated rough where he hacked around before finally holing out five strokes worse off.
"It was very tough out there … it's a tough course even without these conditions and today was just a nightmare for us," he said. "But it's the British Open and we have to live these days to feel what the Open is.
"It's all about fighting and it's not a question of swing or technique like 99 per cent of the other tournaments we play."
Simon Khan, his playing partner, said the 14th was playing like a par-six and had some sympathy for Havret.
"It could have happened to anyone there," he said. "You could barely make the fairway and there was nowhere to hit it."
Published: July 17, 2011 04:00 AM