Jun
1
2009
Steve Stricker Takes Advantage of Clark Choke To Win Crowne Plaza Invitational
By Stephanie Wei under General

Steve Stricker never let up. He was two down with two to play. After missing a short par putt on the 16th hole, he chipped in for birdie on the 17th, which ended up getting him into the playoff with Tim Clark and Steve Marino, both of whom were gunning for their first win on Tour. Stricker knocked his approach shot to 3-feet of the pin and sank the birdie putt on the second sudden death hole to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational.

You could say Stricker caught a few lucky breaks along the way and capitalized on them. You could also say Clark straight-up choked. In my opinion, it was a combination of the two.

Clark made BOGEY on the 18th hole – he left his par putt short, no less. He almost (key word) had the win under his belt, but he lost momentum when it mattered the most. Then, on the first playoff hole, he missed a straightaway 7-foot putt. And well, all I have to say is that’s not what winners do.

To his credit, Clark hit a solid approach shot on the second sudden death hole – but unfortunately, it hit the pin and bounced 20 feet backwards. The look on his face said it all – like he’d just been punched in the gut. Call it bad luck, but that’s just golf.

With that said, Stricker was the deserving champion, particularly because of the impressive way he finished. He did the best job of defining the moment, rather than letting the moment define him.