Austin’s double drenching lifts US Cup spirits

American Woody Austin twice ended up in water, first with his ball and then comically on his stomach, while playing the par-four 14th in Friday’s foursomes matches at the Presidents Cup.

Although he and partner David Toms lost the hole to Internationals duo Rory Sabbatini and Trevor Immelman after his untimely drenching, he ended his round with three consecutive birdies to halve the match.

Playing in his first Presidents Cup at the age of 43, the ultra-competitive Austin has been an inspiration to his teammates at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

”When Woody went under water, we were on the 16th tee, and that loosened us up,” American Steve Stricker told reporters.

”His effects were far reaching, and he also played great golf. I watched the last few holes and it was pretty spectacular.”

Austin reeled off eight birdies, four on each nine, to keep the Americans in touch with their in-form South African opponents, who covered Royal Montreal’s Blue Course in seven under par.

His dramatic splash at the 16th, however, is certain to become one of the abiding memories in Presidents Cup history.

Under pressure to match Sabbatini by driving the green, Austin pulled his tee shot into the lake lining the left side of the hole.

Totally submerged

With his ball totally submerged, he took off his shoes and socks before slipping on a rock and tumbling forwards into the water while trying to play his second shot.

The Cup rookie failed to make any contact with the ball before getting totally drenched.

Teammate Jim Furyk, watching from the fairway, pulled his cap over his face as he started laughing.

”The whole idea of the shot was just to try to get it to the bank because I felt like from there I had a chance to make three,” Austin said.

”Deep down I knew I probably couldn’t pull the shot off but I was wanting really badly to pull it off and my caddie urged me on.

”I was doing okay until I stepped on the rock and then I lost my balance.”

Toms had also found water off the tee before the pair conceded the hole to Sabbatini and Immelman to go two down. Against the odds, Austin earned them a share of the match with his birdie-birdie-birdie finish.

”He takes a dive in a lake and then holes three straight putts,” said US captain Jack Nicklaus. ”He’s amazing. He’s been terrific so far.

”Woody is a character and he’s a great competitor. It just kills him to not play well or not hit the right shot or not do the right thing. He is pure grit coming down in the stretch.” – Reuters

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

International Day of Education: Countries set realistic goals for 2030

The original sustainable development goal for education treated all countries as equal; however, global targets have now been localised, providing a more realistic framework

Chieftaincy dispute hits Richards Bay Minerals production

The KZN department of co-operative governance has undertaken to resolve the dispute it created by dethroning the sitting inkosi in 2010

World Economic Forum: ‘2022 will be like navigating an obstacle...

Central banks massively underestimated inflation risks as economies bounced back from the pandemic-induced slump

Montana backs Prasa-fraud accused Mthimkhulu as court hears how he...

Montana testified that ‘unqualified’ Mthimkhulu was the right engineer for the state rail agency, despite his acquisition of allegedly faulty locomotives

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…