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underdog

The decade in golf: NCG’s best underdog story

We all love a surprise winner and there have been a host of them in the past 10 years. Our Fourball team pick out their favourites
 

What was your favourite golf underdog story of the decade?

Dan: Patrick Reed’s back story continues to fascinate me. It seems like the man has been friendless for much of his life, one way or another. If people don’t like him that’s fine and if they do then he seems to be happier changing that opinion.

His behaviour and body language at the 2018 Ryder Cup was remarkable. No matter what, though, he is a major champion and nobody will ever be able to take that Green Jacket off him. Even though a few people might want to.

Andy: Heading into the final round of the 2012 Abu Dhabi Championship, Englishman Robert Rock had to sleep on a share of the lead with Tiger Woods while Rory McIlroy lay in wait only two shots back. A classic David and Goliath story.

And once again, David (Robert) came out on top, claiming a one-shot victory over McIlroy and eclipsing his then 14-time major winning playing partner by two.

Honourable mentions go to a couple of Clark(e)’s – Tim and Darren – for winning the 2010 Players and 2011 Open Championships respectively. 

underdog

Steve: I’m going to say Brooks Koepka’s US Open win at Shinnecock Hills in 2018. Everyone had dismissed his victory at Erin Hills as a fluke in a disappointing renewal.

He’d spent most of the winter rehabbing a wrist injury and hadn’t even played at the Masters. And while most of the field moaned about the set-up, he stuck two fingers up to anyone who’d doubted him.

Mark: Given Le Rock has been taken I’d go with Danny Boy at Augusta three years ago. With hindsight some things seem written in the stars; the arrival of his son just before, the last player to register, and then Jordan Spieth’s meltdown at Amen Corner.

It wasn’t a huge shock given Willett was already in the upper echelons of the game but the manner in which he finished it off when he realised that he had the lead was stunning. The tee shot to the 16th, the chip at 17 and and the apparent ease in which he got the job done was so impressive.

Some players, not many, love the high-octane atmosphere of the gut-wrenching climax to a major and the way Willett swept to a three-shot win was so classy. 

What was your favourite underdog story of 2019? Let us know in the comments below or you can tweet us.

Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

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