After Tom Watson’s capitulation in The Open play-off yesterday, just what is the most disappointing sporting event of recent times?
It seemed that the fairytale story was going to turn true when Watson hit a beautiful tee shot that landed in the fairway on the 72nd hole at Turnberry. Needing a par on the final hole, the American golfing legend hit a bogey to leave him in a play-off duel with Stewart Cink.
The rest is as they say history as Cink strolled to victory. It was an anti-climax to what looked certain to be one of the greatest sporting stories ever.
However, Watson is not alone. We’ve managed to whittle down the three most recent sporting disappointments of our time.
3. Felipe Massa
Felipe Massa lost the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship on the very last lap of the last race of the season.
The Ferrari driver, who won the final race of the season, had the title in the bag with just a few seconds to go before Lewis Hamilton overtook Timo Glock on pretty much the final corner. As a result Hamilton finished 1 solitary point ahead of Massa in the championship.
2. Amir Khan
Amir Khan suffered his first defeat of his professional career with an astonishing 54-second knockout by Breidis Prescott.
The Commonwealth lightweight champion was expected to easily win the fight, but his Colombian opponent produced a devastating left hook that left Khan barely able to stand before another sent the Bolton boxer to the floor.
The defeat highlighted Khan’s ‘glass-jaw’ and his career, at this point, looked over before it had begun.
1. Jean Van de Velde
Needing a 6 on the par-4 18th at Carnoustie to be crowned the 1999 Open Champion, Jean Van de Velde tossed away the title in the most painful of scenes ever witnessed on a golf course.
The Frenchman well and truly bottled it, hitting one shot off the bleachers, dumping another into the water and finding a bunker along the way to a card a miserable triple-bogey 7.
The disastrous hole put him in a three-man playoff with Justin Leonard and Paul Lawrie, with the Scot prevailing by three shots in the four-hole format.