UPDATE: Well, we said Brandt Snedeker was not the first and wouldn’t be the last, but we didn’t know how quickly a big name would follow in his four-putt footsteps.
Snedeker – with back-to-back lip-outs – four-putted the 15th green at Muirfield during the second round of the 2013 British Open. About an hour later, Phil Mickelson also four-putted at hte par-3 16th after hitting his tee shot onto the green.
Bad luck played a role in each, but scorecards don’t know luck from skill.
Mickelson faced a long birdie attempt of perhaps 50 feet, an uphill putt that rolled well wide of the cup and then broke to settle about 2 feet behind. His comebacker rolled straight over the edge of the hole and stopped about 2 feet past.
When Mickelson’s second comebacker lipped out more than 270 degrees from the left edge to less than a foot right, he tapped in for double bogey. That dropped him to 1 over, T-11.
Snedeker started with an uphill par putt of about 12-15 feet, which grazed the left edge of the cup and stopped about a foot and a half behind the hole and slightly to the right. His would-be tap-in then also lipped out, catching the same edge and running about 5 feet back down the hill.
Snedeker’s comebacker for a three-putt missed the hole (and the lip) and he tapped in for triple bogey.
The 32-year-old, who finished T-3 last year, had stood even par at T-11 before the first lip-out – but dropped to T-27, leaving some work to climb back into contention.
Even short-game magician Seve Ballesteros once four-putted; when asked how it happened, the showman Spaniard matter-of-factly replied, “I miss; I miss; I miss; I make.”
Snedeker had earlier been cleared of a penalty when he discussed with a rules official whether his ball had moved during his stroke when he made a bogey putt at the par-3 13th.