By PGA.com Staff
LIGONIER, Pa. -- It was a simple shot, really. Just 95 yards to the pin on the par-5 18th, all but 6 yards of which were over water. For a Champions Tour player of Joe Inman's caliber, it was a smooth sand wedge.
But those 95 yards would turn into a horrible nightmare for the tall, affable man from Marietta, Ga.
Inman hit his third-shot approach crisply -- too crisply, actually -- and his ball hit about 6 yards past the hole. But with too much spin, it sucked back past the pin and trickled into the lake. Ok, so he drops another, this time 4 yards closer, and it, too, had too much juice and spun back into the water.
Now the demons are beginning to creep in.
"I mean, I don't spin the ball that much," Inman said. "So now what do you do?"
In this fateful case, what he did was proceed to hit a third ball "kind of thin," and it hit pin high and also spun back into the water.
"The next two I just shanked," Inman admitted of his fourth and fifth tries, each of which squirted way right and into the middle of the lake. "I had the ball so far back and I'm swinging so damn hard to get it as far by the hole as I could get it, I just cold-shanked two in the water."
Then cold reality set in.
"I looked at my caddie and said, 'How many balls do we have left?' He said, 'One. The pressure's on. Last ball.'"
Luckily for Inman, and despite the fact he "kind of chunked it," this one mercifully found land on the other side and stayed there, some 30 feet from hole. Three putts later, he walked away with a score of 10-over-par 15 on a hole that played the 16th easiest for the tournament with a stroke average of 4.930.
"I mean, I tried on every one of them," Inman said. "I, you know, I wasn't not trying. And I wasn't going to quit. And I went on and played and I didn't scream and yell, but I never realized that -- I just can't understand how that green can be so soft. I just can't understand that."