by Jeff Skinner
All week the talk at the Atlanta Athletic Club was how difficult the finishing holes were. We saw disaster after meltdown after implosion on those holes. One of the nicknames given to the final four holes was “Calamity Lane” and it certainly lived up to its name.
Long before leader Jason Dufner fell victim to the torturous stretch, player after player felt the pain of Calamity Lane. The player that felt it the most, besides Dufner, had to be Robert Karlsson. He entered Calamity at five under for the tournament, in the middle of a stellar six under round. He bogeyed the last three holes to finish at -5, three shots out of the playoff and tied for fourth. Those were the three strokes he left in Calamity Lane.
Anders Hansen and Sergio Garcia played the last four in even par, the only ones near the lead to do so but it was way too little way too late.
All the big names that many thought would make a run had either run out of gas or stumbled in Calamity Lane. Lee Westwood bogeyed 18. Luke Donald had bogeys 15 and 18 as did Hunter Mahan. Steve Stricker bogeyed the last two. Charl Schwartzel took a bogey on 18. Nick Watney played them in plus one. Kevin Na broke the jinx and was one under over the final four. In a bit of irony, for the first time all week Phil Mickelson made par on all four holes.
Calamity Lane proved to be the deciding holes of the tournament. Jason Dufner had a five stroke lead when he stepped to the fifteenth tee. By the time he putted out for a saving par on eighteen he had lost his lead and was tied with Keegan Bradley. We all know how that turned out.