Justin Warren had this one-foot putt to make his debut on the PGA Tour. The Aussie is the 665th-ranked golfer in the world and this year he has played his golf on the PGA Tour of Australia, his best finish coming at the Moonah Links PGA Classic where he finished second.
Then the chance came to make it into the Barracuda Championship after shooting a seven-under 65 in the Monday qualifier – it was then down to him and Mark Baldwin for the fourth and final spot.
If it was matchplay he would have been given the putt, as it was he went to tap it in and it caught the lip and stayed above ground – then Baldwin edged him out and Warren was making all the headlines for the wrong reason.
“Honestly I’ve just been trying to forget it,” Warren said. “It’s just one of those things, it’s awful and it sucks and it’s s---, but I’ve always been pretty good at putting things in the past and waking up and not thinking about it. But it’s been hard because it’s getting millions of hits.
“It was one foot. I simply didn’t give the situation or the putt the respect it deserved. I saw that my coin was going to be in Mark’s way, so I thought I’ll just get up there and tap it in. But I rushed. I was nervous.”
The miss even got Rory McIlroy's attention....
“My first chance to win a professional event was in Crans-sur-Sierre in the European Masters in 2008. And I missed – I basically missed like a one-and-a-half-footer in a play-off I thought about it for a long time until I got that first win.
“But I guess the solace he can take is he's played well enough to give himself a chance. Like we all do dumb things under pressure at times, I've certainly done them. The next time – you know, I learned from that that every putt that I had, I took a little bit more time and I wasn't quite as careless. So, there's a lot of things you can learn from these things.”
"What a harsh lesson to learn. I pray Justin becomes a wiser pro because of that," wrote PGA Tour winner Michael Thompson. "There’s a reason we PGA Tour pros take so much time over tap-ins. It’s so easy to make a mistake #everyshotcounts. Sorry but I don’t feel bad. That’s why you don’t take it for granted. Arbitrarily placing the ball down from the side. Didn’t even give it a look. Respect the game.
"This is a nervous player trying not to overthink an easy putt in a sudden death situation, not someone taking a short one for granted. Likely took it too seriously. Nervous he was going to miss it so rushed it so he wouldn't think about missing it. They say don't change your routine for a reason. That is how you putt when you’ve shot 45 on the front and are about to shoot 45 again and just want to get off the course and to the bar. He won't get over that."