Greg Owen bounces back from Bay Hill meltdown
Greg Owen had a pair of 3-foot putts on his final two holes Friday. He stood over both of them and thought the same thing.
"Oh, not again," he said.
Owen's three-putt from the same distance on the 17th hole cost him a victory at Bay Hill last week and an invitation to the Masters.
Not surprisingly, the heartbreaking loss stuck with him for a while. He went to bed at 11 p.m. that night, woke up an hour later, took a walk, slept a couple of hours, got up for good at 4:30 a.m. and then decided to wash his car at daybreak.
He has rebounded nicely, though, at The Players Championship.
Owen overcame a double bogey on the first hole and shot a 4-under 68 in the second round Friday, leaving him 5 under for the tournament and three shots behind leader Jim Furyk.
Owen made both 3-footers Friday -- a good sign his flop at Bay Hill may have been a fluke.
"It still pops back, but I'm proud of myself to play well this week because it was tough last week," he said. "I knew I was playing well and I was hoping to keep up the same form, but you still wake up and you think of the worst things that happened."
The memories may have been even more prevalent on the two finishing holes at the TPC at Sawgrass. He hit his tee shot inside 4 feet on the treacherous island green at No. 17 and calmly sank the putt. He made an even shorter par putt on the 18th.
He figured the crowds surrounding both popular holes were feeling just as anxious as he was standing over the putts.
"Settle down, knock it in the middle," he told himself. "And I hit two good shots."
The Englishman was tied for seventh heading into the weekend. He needs to finish in the top 20 to have a chance at getting into the top 50 in the world rankings and earning a spot in the Masters.
He would have secured a spot last week with a victory. Whether he makes it now could depend on a few more 3-footers.
"I'm not trying to think about it," he said. "I mean, it's gone. I'm going to miss short putts. Everyone is going to miss short putts. I'm hopefully going to make more short ones and not even worry about the short ones.
"There will be times out there when the pressure gets going that I'm going to miss putts. I've done it plenty times before."