IT was the day Aussie sport fans had been waiting 16 years for.
Adam Scott looked destined to win the British Open and ease some of the pain of his childhood hero Greg Norman’s final round disaster at the US Masters in 1996.
Scott did everything right for 68 of the 72 holes at the British Open.
He had played superbly to tame a classic links course and a world-class field.
With four holes remaining, he led by four shots. Champagne on ice, engraver at the ready to etch Scott’s name on the famous Claret Jug trophy.
Bleary-eyed sport fans around Australia were ready to celebrate.
However, Scott’s major championship dream came crashing down when he made four-straight bogeys in the final four holes to hand the title to South African Ernie Els.
Talk about deja vu.
Norman’s performance to turn a six-shot lead into a five-shot defeat to Nick Faldo is widely regarded as one of the greatest chokes in golf history.
For all of Norman’s great wins all over the world, including two British Open championships, he is now best-remembered for his Augusta flop.
Unfortunately for Scott, he’s in danger of suffering the same fate.
Unless the Queenslander can win a major title, he’ll become a trivia question like Frenchman Jean van de Velde.
Van de Velde led by three shots with one hole to go at the 1999 British Open only to triple bogey the final hole and then falter in the play-off.
How Scott reacts mentally to yesterday’s nightmare finish will determine how he’s remembered.
Norman and van de Velde weren’t the same after their disasters. Let’s hope Scott has what it takes to get his major. – Adam Bourke, sports editor