by Jethro Swain
If you didn’t know already, arguably the best golfer in the world right now and defending Masters champion Jordan Spieth C O L L A P S E D, at the Masters on Sunday.
Heading into the back 9 on the fourth and final day Spieth had a 5 stroke lead and had been leading the entirety of this year’s Masters, and led the entirety of last year’s Masters. But then Spieth bogeyed the 10th and 11th hole. At this point however Spieth was still ok. He was still one stroke ahead of Danny Willett, the eventual winner, and Spieth had 7 more holes to go whereas Willett had about 3, so if there was any ground to make up Spieth could do it.
But then Spieth C O L L A P S E D.
He hit his tee shot off of the par 3 12th hole into the water, and then hit his next shot after that into the water, then hit his next shot after that into a bunker, resulting in a Quadruple Bogey. Spieth lost to Willett by 3 strokes, so if he had simply parred the 12th hole, he would have won.
Now Spieth has solidified himself as the second least clutch person on the planet after his performance. The first least clutch person on the planet, is yours truly.
Whether it’s in Golf or any other sort of sport, game, or activity, I always somehow choke.
When I’m golfing and I’m on the 18th hole, often times I’ll have a short four or five foot putt that has significance. The other day I was 11 over going into the 18th hole at Quail Valley Golf Course and my personal best round is 12 over, so if I parred the last hole, I would have set a personal best score that day. I hit the green in regulation so all I had to do was 2-putt from 15 feet to par the hole.
And I 3-putted. I putted 4 feet away from the hole on the first putt, and I missed left on the next putt. So I went 12 over.
Another time me and Brad Crislip were playing at Quail Valley, and he was having a rough day, so going into the 18th hole I had a one stroke lead. Brad bogeyed the hole, and I sadly got on the green in four shots, so I had a 12 foot putt to beat Brad for the first time ever. I missed that putt short somehow.
So the I had a 3 foot putt to tie Brad, so I figured the best thing to do would be to walk up and confidently putt the ball in, but I was wrong. I missed that putt too so I lost.
Even on Monday during our 9-hole match against Catlin and Westside, I had a 5-foot putt at the end of a bad round, that would have made me feel better and finish strong if I made the putt.
But I missed.
This year in JV basketball I had two game winning 3-point opportunities. The first against De La Salle, we made a miraculous comeback being down 7 points with a minute left in a game in which the halftime score was 10-9.
We were down 2, in their gym, and Alex S. drove down the lane, kicked the ball out to me on the three point line. I put up what I thought was a great shot, and the ball hit the back of the rim, the front of the rim, and then popped out.
Then on the last game of the season I airballed a game winning three with 10 seconds left from the top of the key which was a lot less exciting.
Freshman year Emerson L. and I would play ping-pong pretty often. We were evenly matched, but somehow Emerson would always edge me out and win. But then one time, we were playing to 21, and the score was 20-15 and I had the lead. But I lost the next five points and lost 23-25. We stopped playing ping-pong shortly after that.
These next examples aren’t exactly examples of me choking, but a certain team or player I’m rooting for choking.
Last year during March Madness, I created a bracket pool with 11 people during the Golf Winterim, and everyone put in five dollars. By the end it came down to Duke vs Wisconsin. I picked Wisconsin to win the entire thing, and Daniel L. picked Duke. So if Duke won, Daniel would profit 50 dollars, and if Wisconsin won, I would profit 50 dollars. You can guess who won the National Championship game that year.
The next fall was Fantasy Football season, and at the end of the season, it was me vs. Daniel in the championship game. The winner gets 70 dollars, and second place gets 20 dollars, so again, the profit margin between me and Daniel was 50 dollars.
On the final week of the championship game Daniel was beating me by 5 points so it was very close. The day of the final NFL games was the last Sunday of winter break, which was the day it snowed heavily that caused us to miss school the next day. That day I forgot to set an alarm to wake up before 10AM to set my lineup fantasy football lineup. This might get confusing for many of you but bear with me.
The previous night I put the Chicago Bears backup running back Jeremy Langford in, thinking that the starting running back, Matt Forte would not play, meaning Jeremy Langford would get more playing time, and thus more points. My plan was to check the injury report before 10AM when the Bears started their game and my roster would auto-lock and I would not be able to change it.
If Matt Forte was playing, I would sub out Jeremy Langford and put in the Buffalo Bills running back Karlos Williams. However, I slept in. Matt Forte ended up playing that day, so Jeremy Langford only got 1.2 points. Karlos Williams had 22 rushing yards and a touchdown that day, which added up to 8.2 points. If I had woken up on time I would have seen that Forte was playing, taken out Langford, and put in Williams. If that were the case I would’ve gotten 7 more fantasy points.
I lost to Daniel by 5 points.
Then this year, in the Spirit Squad march madness pool, I noticed towards the end that I had a shot at winning if North Carolina won the entire tournament. Even though the winner hasn’t been announced and no prize was actually given, it still would have been cool to win something based on all my previous losses.
North Carolina lost on a buzzer beater 3 point shot to Villanova in the championship game.
So in short, when it comes to anything sports related, it seems to always swing barely not in my favor. Which is like Spieth in the fact that he lost the Masters this year, but Spieth is still one of today’s best golfers, so if someone asked you whether me or Spieth were worse in the clutch, I would answer me.
But hey, maybe writing this article will signify a change. After this gets published I’ll sink the 15 foot putt for birdie on 18, or beat Emerson in ping-pong, or make the buzzer beater three, or the team I need to win will win.