When Adam Scott arrived to the tee at the 72nd hole of the British Open at Lytham, caddie Steve Williams handed the Aussie a 3-wood. At that moment, Gary Player knew Ernie Els had won his second Claret Jug.
"The minute he put his hand on that 3‑wood, I said, 'It's lost,'" Player said Wednesday at the Senior Open Championship.
"He's gone with an iron all week, you either lay it up, or you go. The 3‑wood is in the bunker zone and that's a certain hazard. I said, under this pressure, he's going in that bunker."
Player laid some blame on the Kiwi caddie for, first, breaking from their pattern all week and, second, not handing driver to Scott.
"And I'm shocked that his caddie, because his caddie is a world‑renowned caddie, I would love to get his caddie's point of view to be fair, but he should have gone with driver," Player said. "If I was him, I would have gone with driver, he's got a beautiful swing and he's so long that he can carry that."
Even if Scott had gone left like he did, landing in one of 17 bunkers at the closing hole, he would have cleared the trouble. A playoff likely would have ensued.
"He's only got a sand wedge to the green out of the rough anyway," Player said. "Would have done a hell of a lot better than being in the bunker and he knocks it in the bunker."