Monday, August 16, 2010

Mr. Lucky

Dustin Johnson had a three-shot lead going into the last round of the U.S. Open. He had a triple-bogey on the second hole, shot 80, and finished way up the track.

Dustin Johnson had a one-shot lead going into the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship. First he made bogey to fall into a tie. Then he made triple bogey, because Johnson was assessed a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in a bunker which was full of spectators at the time (A rule is a rule, but a stupid, irrational rule is just that, too).

So Johnson may be forgiven if he's starting to feel like fate has taken a strong dislike to his face. And U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin may be forgiven for wondering if fate thinks he's been stepping out with fate's wife lately.

By finishing tied for fifth at the PGA, Johnson has earned an automatic berth on the U.S. team. Every skipper loves having a player working on a historic jinx on his side. What's more, Johnson's big event problems are getting worse. Fold down the stretch? Happens to everybody? Lose the PGA the way he did? Doesn't happen often. Once in fact (Roberto de Vicenzo in the '68 Masters, penalized for signing an incorrect scorecard, an even stupider rule).

Which leads me to believe that when Pavin makes out the lineup for twosomes, there may not be too many volunteers with their hands up eager to be paired with the human Wreck of the Hesperus. And while I'm not superstitious, were I paired with Johnson in the Cup, I'd kind of make a point of standing on the opposite side of the fairway. Lightning is uncommon in Wales in October, but why find out if fate hates me, too?


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