Gambling is a mug's game. After losing a £5 bet that Martin Kaymer would win the 2011 Masters tournament, I should have stopped there and then (Kaymer didn't even make the cut, let alone win the thing). But curiosity led me astray, and I decided to give it one more shot by putting another £10 on Graeme McDowell to win the US Open in San Francisco.
With live coverage scheduled to finish at 4am, I decided to call it a night by 11:30pm. Of course anything can happen on the final day of a major championship; however, I was fairly content in switching off knowing that my man was tied for the lead. But with golf, you just never know. Indeed I didn't.
"Congrats to Webb Simpson", was the first quote I read on Twitter the next morning, not someone I imagined would be lifting the silver trophy by the 18th green. Eager to learn more, I caught up with the help of Sky Plus which dotted the eyes and crossed the tees, helping to get me up to speed.
One shot. That was the difference. A shot which determined whether McDowell would add another major title to his record. A shot which meant he either came first or second. A few weeks ago Justin Rose was in a similar position at the BMW Championship at Wentworth Golf Club where on the 18th green, he missed a put which cost him £90,000. Golf can be a cruel game sometimes, but then that's why we love it. There is nothing more heart-breaking than driving your ball out of bounds when you are leading, whether it's at the Masters or the monthly medal at your local club. Then again, there is nothing more elating than sinking a putt which makes all the difference to the card you hand in after your round.
At the end of the day it is only game. A very important one mind you, if you are tour player, but for the majority of us it is all about the enjoyment of spending a few hours playing a great game which you know you can never truly win. It has been said that this game owes you nothing - how true. Alas, I am down £15 after an unassuming champion reigned supreme in San Francisco. But then if it had been so predictable, well, it wouldn't be golf.
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