Every year as the Open Championship rolls around, Bloodline co-founder, Brad Adams reminisces about one of the most heart-breaking experiences he’s watched a tour pro go through at a major championship.
After leaving Odyssey in 1997, Adams co-founded Never Compromise in 1998. In 1999 the company worked with a Frenchman by the name of Jean Van de Velde, getting him a Never Compromise ZI Delta 2 putter in time for the qualifier a week before The Open. Van de Velde won the qualifier and secured a spot playing in the 1999 Open Championship in Carnoustie.
On Sunday, July 18, 1999, Van de Velde held a 3-stroke lead heading into the intimidating final hole at Carnoustie.
Not only was he in the lead, but he had also set a record for taking the fewest putts in the history of The Open.
You can only imagine how excited Brad and everyone at Never Compromise were. They were a young company, and their putter was being used by Van de Velde who was on the verge of winning a major! He needed just a double-bogey 6 to claim the title.
What followed became one of the most famous meltdowns in golf.
Van de Velde's drive went way right, over the water and back on to the rough on the 17th hole, barely clearing the challenging Barry Burn. Instead of laying up, he then pulled out his 2-iron and decided to go for the green from there, but the ball ricocheted off the main grandstand and a rock to land in treacherous rough.
His third shot landed in a small stream in front of the green. He thought about playing the shot and took off his shoes and socks and entered the water before deciding to take a penalty shot. The next shot ended up in a deep greenside bunker. In a dramatic twist, his playing partner Craig Parry holed out from the sand. Van de Velde needed to do the same for his six and victory. He was able to get on the green and made a seven-foot putt for a triple-bogey which forced a three-man play-off, which was ultimately won by Paul Lawrie.
When it was over, one of the announcers said, “He could have played the entire hole with his putter and gotten under seven.”
Well, Van de Velde decided to see if that was true. In December of 1999, he went back to Carnoustie’s 18th hole and played it using only his Never Compromise putter. It took him three tries, but he finally carded a 6 on the hole. Click here to watch the video.
While this loss was extremely disappointing, Brad was pleased that putting was not Van de Velde’s problem. In fact, it had helped put him in a position to win.
For over 30 years, Brad has been committed to helping golfers putt better. You can join thousands of people who have improved their putting with the latest Bloodline Golf technology which takes alignment out of the putting equation. Visit Bloodline.golf to learn more.