Were you not satisfied by the story of the perennial runner-up who, despite avoiding trees, rough, and demons, made a remarkable par on the 18th hole to win a life-changing gold medal?
How about the South African-turned-Slovakian who shot an absurd final round 61 and celebrated his silver medal-winning birdie putt on hole 18 by pumping his fist halfway to the hole? Is that not strange enough for you?
Seven-Way Playoff For Bronze Medal Sends Olympic Golf Into Chaos
Therefore, let me transport you to the 18th tee at approximately 3:25 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (4:25 p.m. local time), when seven of the best players in the world returned to the course to compete for third place.
As it turns out, competitions are much more exciting when the stakes are raised from something trivial like “a million dollars” for third place (the prize for second runner-up at this year’s Players Championship) to something like a small copper circle (yeah, they make the bronze medals from mostly copper). For those of us still awake, at least. Advertised as a way to “expand the game,” the Olympics probably only drew in golf sickos and insomniacs due to its late airtime.
The seven professionals competing for the bronze medal represented seven different countries, in true Olympic spirit. Among them was a man (Collin Morikawa) who, in a little over a year’s time, had won two major championships. Two times as many belonged to another guy (Rory McIlroy). And just a few weeks ago, a third (Mito Pereira) was competing on the Korn Ferry Tour. What’s more, they only faced off against half as many opponents in the playoffs.
According to Olympic playoff regulations, if there are fewer than six competitors in a playoff, they may all compete together. The Olympic playoff rules have received some terrible news. Only seven golfers in the field of sixty made for an uncomfortable two-step down the difficult 18th hole.
It appeared as if Morikawa’s birdie would seal the deal, but it actually was a challenge. In an attempt to hit a birdie, Pereira’s shot instead horseshoed back at himself. It’s possible that a deflection off Morikawa’s ball mark contributed to McIlroy’s shanked short shot. Equally content with a tie, Sebastian Munoz tallied a par. Only Pan was left, and he came very close to matching Morikawa’s accuracy with a three-footer that dropped dead centre in the bottom of the cup.
Every every playoff series has one thing in common: a sudden conclusion. A par putt by Morikawa went unmade. The abyss has been traversed and Pan has reached its very core. He was awarded bronze for his efforts.
There was an immediate resolution to the seven-car collision. Pan slid up the podium steps. It was about 5 a.m. Eastern Time. It was close to 2 o’clock at Pan’s house in Bellevue, Washington. Bronze medals have incredible staying power, as seen by the fact that viewers are still tuning in.
There is considerable merit to including golf in the Olympic Games. Thanks for reading our article Seven-Way Playoff For Bronze Medal Sends Olympic Golf Into Chaos.