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Sunday, July 18, 1999 Published at 18:39 GMT 19:39 UK


Dramatic play-off at Open

Jean Van de Velde goes paddling in the Barry Burn

Jean Van de Velde has squandered a three shot advantage going into the final hole of the Open at Carnoustie to set up a three-way title play-off with Justin Leonard of the US and Aberdeen's Paul Lawrie.

In a day of constantly evolving fortunes and considerable movement at the top of the leaderboard, the Frenchman could afford to double bogey the last and still win.


[ image: Paul Lawrie: Surprise success]
Paul Lawrie: Surprise success
With Leonard and Lawrie - who played an inspirational 67 to put himself in contention - poised in joint second at six over, the day looked as if it was about to end with the first French victory since 1907.

But Van de Velde's drive went well right onto the 17th fairway. His recovery shot was then narrowly prevented from going out of bounds by ricocheting off the crowd control railing into the rough.

Water hazard

He tried to hack from the deep rough only to watch the ball run straight into the dreaded Barry Burn water hazard, where it sat just visible above the surface of the water.

But the drama was not over yet. Initially deciding not to drop, Van de Velde took off his shoes and socks and climbed into the Burn to play the shot.


[ image: Justin Leonard: Looking for a second win]
Justin Leonard: Looking for a second win
The ball then sank, forcing him to take the drop. His next shot landed in a bunker just short of the green and from there he chipped on.

He proceeded to calmly play in a nerve-wracking 8ft putt for a triple bogey. If he had missed, he would have been out of the competition.

Van de Velde went into the final day on level par for the championship, but five bogeys - with two shots pulled back by birdies on the ninth and 14th - whittled away his five stroke lead.

Lawrie in contention

At one stage, Leonard - who won the Open two years ago - birdied the 14th to bring him level with the Frenchman on four over for the championship.

But he dropped shots on the 15th and 18th to fall back to six over.


[ image: Craig Parry: Triple-bogey disaster]
Craig Parry: Triple-bogey disaster
Aberdeen's Paul Lawrie - not even considered a possibility at the start of the day - played some inspired golf to put himself in the frame.

He shot six birdies to bring him up to six over for the championship. He finished the day on 67, equalling the best round of the tournament set by Craig Parry on Saturday.

Parry, who was paired with Van de Velde for the final round and was hotly-tipped for the championship, slipped out of the frame on seven over after briefly leading the championship.

Van de Velde and Parry: Hole-by-hole

Hole One: Van de Velde hits a poor drive off the tee that flirts with a bunker and leaves him unsighted for the green.

He pulls off a superb punch shot to hit the green and two-putts for a nerve-settling par.

Parry, who teed-off first, follows a similarly awkward route to the green for a par.

Positions: Van de Velde 0, Parry +5

Hole Two: Both players hit the fairway. Van de Velde finds the bunker with his second shot and almost hits the pin with his splash out.

He then duffs a relatively easy putt for a bogey.

Parry plays a textbook hole for an easy par.

Positions: Van de Velde +1, Parry +5

Hole Three: Van de Velde finds the rough and chips sideways onto the fairway. He finds the green with his next shot, but another missed putt sees him turn in a second consecutive bogey.

Parry coolly finds the fairway and plays an excellent second shot to give himself a shot at the birdie putt. He sinks it and cuts the Frenchman's lead to two.

Positions: Van de Velde +2, Parry +4

Hole Four: Van de Velde finds yet another bunker on the way into the green. He hits a long putt to save par, bringing cheers from the crowd.

Parry also has a long putt, which skirts round the lip of the cup. He taps in for par and the scores remain the same.

Positions: Van de Velde +2, Parry +4

Hole Five: Both players make it to the green in regulation, but Parry leaves himself a 20 yd putt which he misses. He pars the hole.

Van de Velde puts the ball within 10ft of the cup to give himself a realistic chance of a birdie. It catches the left edge of cup and agonisingly lips out. He also pars the hole.

Positions: Van de Velde +2, Parry +4

Hole Six: A much more composed Van de Velde plays the perfect tee-shot on the dreaded sixth and finds the green within three for an uphill birdie putt. It stops two inches short and the hole is parred.

Parry makes life a little difficult for himself by finding the light rough on the approach. He chips on but the ball does not run and the very long putt runs well right. He pars the hole.

Positions: Van de Velde +2, Parry +4

Hole Seven: Parry misses a 50ft putt by millimetres and then nearly fluffs the second from inches. The ball lips then drops in for par.

Van de Velde, with a renewed spring in his stride approaching the halfway stage, sinks a five-foot putt for par.

Positions: Van de Velde +2, Parry +4

Hole Eight: Van de Velde hits the fringe of the green with his approach shot to leave himself a 25yd uphill putt. He fails to give enough gas and it stops 9ft short.

Another poor putt leaves the Frenchman on three over with his third bogey.

More faultless play puts Parry on the green for a birdie putt, which he sinks with consummate ease

Positions: Van de Velde +3, Parry +3

Hole Nine: Still furious with himself after the last hole, Van de Velde blasts his way onto the green and confidently sinks a birdie putt. He punches the air as he retakes the lead.

Parry leaves himself too much to do with a 40ft putt that drifted wide. He pars the hole.

Positions: Van de Velde +2, Parry +3

Hole 10: Parry chalks up another trouble-free birdie at the so-called South America hole.

Van de Velde putts from the fringe to go tantalisingly close to his own birdie, but a par is not enough to keep him in sole lead of the competition.

Positions: Van de Velde +2, Parry +2

Hole 11: An errant tee-shot puts the Frenchman in the rough. He fudges the recovery, then misses the putt when he finally hits the green to go in for a bogey.

Parry has his eyes fixed on the championship and plays in a solid par to put himself on top.

Positions: Van de Velde +3, Parry +2

Hole 12: A nightmare for both players as Van de Velde sends his ball into the rough on the left and Parry puts his in the rough on the right.

Van de Velde appears to hit a spectator with his next shot, but finds the green for a putt to save par. He misses for another bogey.

But Parry buries his second shot in the deep rough on the left. His third shot goes just six feet into the rough again. When he finally hits the green, he duffs the putt for a triple bogey disaster.

Positions: Van de Velde +4, Parry +5

Hole 13: Van de Velde shows renewed confidence, narrowly missing a birdie putt for a par.

Parry appears rattled by his triple bogey with a ragged approach to the green that left him with a difficult putt. He misses for a bogey.

Positions: Van de Velde +4, Parry +6

Hole 14: A fantastic tee-shot puts Van de Velde onto the green for an eagle opportunity. He pulls the putt six feet short, but sinks the second for a confident birdie.

Parry breathes again as he finds the green and sinks for a par.

Positions: Van de Velde +3, Parry +6

Hole 15: The Frenchman completely miscues his tee-shot and sends his ball into a bunker on the fourth fairway. He eschews the safe shot for a brave drive towards the green. A courageous 9ft putt saves par.

Parry takes a more direct route and sinks a 3ft putt for par to keep himself in touch.

Positions: Van de Velde +3, Parry +6

Hole 16: Van de Velde strikes a good tee-shot that lands pin-high just to the left of the green on this par three. He two putts for a par.

Parry puts an excellent tee-shot within birdie range of the pin, but misses the putt for a par to keep him in third.

Positions: Van de Velde +3, Parry +6

Hole 17: Van de Velde drops his drive dead in the middle of the island surrounded by the Barry Burn. His approach shot to the green ran past the pin to give him a birdie putt from the fringe at the back of the green.

His 40ft putt rolled a foot right of the hole for a par.

Parry's tee-shot skips off the top of a bunker then chips on to leave himself 20ft short of the pin. He misses the putt and the second to double bogey and slip out of contention.

Positions: Van de Velde +3, Parry +8

Hole 18: Van de Velde can afford a double-bogey, but quickly makes things a lot worse than he needs to. His drive went well right onto the 17th fairway.

His next shot is prevented from going out of bounds by ricocheting off the crowd control railing into the rough. He plays from the rough straight into the Barry Burn.

But the drama is not over yet. The ball is sitting on a rock just above the surface of the water. He takes off his shoes and socks and climbs into the Burn to play it, but it sinks and he has to take the drop.

With the massive crowd fighting to see, he finds a flat spot of rough and drops several yards back from the Burn. His shot lands in a bunker just short of the 18th green.

Parry plays into the same bunker. His splash out - which he waits 15 minutes to take while the Frenchman negotiates his shot- goes straight down for a birdie to huge cheers.

Positions: Van de Velde +6, Parry +7



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