An English college player in the US dropped received a huge dose of bad luck but battled back to lead his Jacksonville University team to its first NCAA Championship.
David Wicks, who hails from Bexhill in East Sussex, marked his 3ft putt and as he crouched to read it while the other players in his group were putting out, his ball fell out, hitting the back of his shoe and rolling into a greenside lake.
With a two-shot penalty looming for not finishing the hole with the same ball and in contention in both the team and individual standings, Wicks stripped down and waded into the waist-high water to try and find it.
“David probably found 20 balls in the stretch of five minutes, but he never find his,” said coach Mike Blackburn. “It was just a stroke of bad luck.”
As a result, Wicks received that two-shot penalty but ended up being the hero for his team, making five consecutive pars to finish his round and with a team total of 19-over, it forced a sudden death play-off.
And once there, Wicks made two pars to help send his team to its first NCAA finals.
“I was determined to redeem myself,” Wicks told Golf Channel. “I was worried that everyone would remember my college career as the guy who lost us a spot at nationals. That wasn’t the way I was going to go out.”