Matching something Tiger Woods and Colin Montgomerie have done on a golf course would normally delight England’s David Lynn – but not what he did in Munich on Thursday.
At seven under par after 14 holes Lynn led the BMW International Open. But then, putting from off the green for eagle on the next, he sent it off the other side into a water hazard and finished with a double-bogey seven.
“I felt like putting a noose round my neck and hanging myself up,” said the Stoke golfer, who finished the day one behind Australian Peter O’Malley, South African Anton Haig, Singapore’s Mardan Mamat and Argentinian Rafa Echenique.
Montgomerie putted into a lake during the Cannes Open over a decade ago and Woods even more famously did it during the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama.
Lynn, with just one European Tour win in 263 events going back 12 years, added: “I wanted to chip the ball, but there was no grass under the ball, so I had to putt through 20 feet of fringe and just hit it too hard.”
He then three-putted the eighth, but came back with a birdie to be in a tie for fifth.
Lynn was far from alone, however, in messing up a promising round.
Paul Casey reached five under par, but double-bogeyed the 16th after his pitch spun back in the water and three-putted the par-five last for another bogey.
Casey’s biggest problem, though, was hayfever and he even called on caddie Craig Connolly to read putts for him.
“I can’t see anything,” he commented. “I didn’t take whatever substance we’re allowed to take now, so that was a mistake by me.”
He hinted at one by Connolly as well, though. “I had nine-iron in my hand on the 16th and he convinced me it was a wedge. I should have stuck with what I felt.”
The caddie said a gust of wind caused the ball to come up short.
While he signed for a two-under 70 – the same as Montgomerie and 50-year-old Bernhard Langer – former Open champion John Daly fell back from four under to level par after double bogeys on the 14th and 16th.
For the second of those Daly, winner of the title in 2001, went in the pond like Casey and after placing the ball by the side it then rolled back in.
“Pretty much sums up the way things have been,” said the American, who is down to 592nd in the world and does not have a US Tour card any more.
The globe-trotting O’Malley, 43 next Monday, was the first to come in with a pace-setting 66, but it was quickly matched by Haig, Mamat and Echenique.
“I’m doing a lot more travelling now my kids are schooling in Australia,” said O’Malley, winner of the Scottish Open 16 years ago.
“I play three weeks, go home for a couple and I’m just trying to manage my time better.”
Order of Merit leader Miguel Angel Jimenez, sixth in the US Open on Sunday, had a hat-trick of late birdies for a 69.
Paired with Langer were his young compatriot Martin Kaymer and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, 10th and ninth respectively in the race for Ryder Cup places.
Kaymer, despite worries about the health of his mother, returned an impressive 68, but McDowell could do no better than 71.
Montgomerie, who missed the cut at Torrey Pines and needs a huge summer just to get back into Ryder Cup contention, is still waiting for the round which might kickstart things.
“My confidence is low and I need to get it up,” said the Scot, whose 70 was no mean effort really given that he played a Skins game in Vancouver on Monday and Tuesday against Greg Norman, Fred Couples and Camilo Villegas.
Montgomerie won nothing, but was presumably handsomely rewarded for his attendance. Winning nothing this weekend will concern him a lot more if it happens.
Of the Midlanders in action, Droitwich’s John Bickerton led the way with a 70, followed by Birmingham’s Tom Whitehouse (72), Sam Walker (73), Tamworth’s Robert Rock (74), and Atherston’s Paul Broadhurst and Wolverhampton’s Peter Baker (both 75).