Roberto de Vicenzo who sadly died last week, aged 94, was renowned for missing a chance to compete in a Masters playoff for signing his incorrectly marked card. He scored a 65 which would have tied him with Bob Goalby. The error came on the 17th where his playing partner Tommy Aaron recorded a 4 instead of the fabulous birdie 3 that Roberto had actually scored. I would say that was Aaroneous marking at the least. Roberto signed for the four and later on realizing his faux pas, famously retorted ‘what a stupid I am!’. Now I think I would have been much more graphic and vulgar on hearing that news.
Recently, Lexi Thomson put herself into a majors playoff at the ANA Inspiration as a result of her erroneous and highly dubious looking marking of a two foot putt. She incurred four penalty shots when a TV viewer phoned in to alert the golfing authorities that she had moved the position of her ball. Two shots for placing the ball incorrectly and two for signing an incorrect card. She was informed of this the next day while out on her final round and she said ‘is this a joke?’, to which the official answered solemnly and in the negative. She then went on to lose the playoff.
Lexi admittedly could not be faulted on her arithmetic. However it’s most apparent from what I saw, that if there was indeed no ulterior motive, then a visit to Specsavers would not be unwarranted. Nevertheless one has to slightly sympathise with her further two shot penalty. But the whole issue is suspicious looking, sullied and she comes out in a terrible light.
However, one will always admire and hear the beautiful echos of de Vicenzo’s honest and straightforward words ‘What a stupid I am!’ around the golf course that is Augusta National, in springtime. It is said that this hugely increased his reputation and tournament invitations as well.
And so we have the interesting events this year at the ANA Inspiration and Roberto who was simply an inspiration.