NAPLES, Fla. – Anne van Dam thought she’d hit the perfect drive. A bomb that traveled about 310 yards but kicked left and into a hazard on the par-4 ninth at Tiburon Golf Club, host of the CME Group Tour Championship. Her caddie sized up the situation and told her straight away that it was time to wade in.
“I was so scared there was a snake or something in the water,” said van Dam, laughing. “I was such a little girl.”
The lie was good but muddy. It was a perfect pitching wedge from 139 yards, she said, but they didn’t know if it would come out chunky. Once she got over the ball, she felt confident about the wedge. The murky water came up over her ankles.
“I hit it pretty quickly,” she said. “I was not enjoying my time in there.”
It’s certainly the early favorite for shot of the week.
“This is just magnificent,” said Golf Channel’s Karen Stupples, as the ball settled 10 feet from the hole. “Talk about athletic, right.”
Van Dam ultimately left the birdie attempt short, the story of her last two weeks on tour, where she has struggled with pace on the greens. She carded a 1-under 71 but walked out of the scoring tent looking pretty deflated for a woman who’d just hit a doozie from the drink. (She started her round on No. 10.)
“My game is definitely good enough to shoot some scores,” she said.
Van Dam is staying with good friend Sophia Popov, who lives in here in Naples but didn’t qualify for the CME. It’s a bit awkward, she said, leaving for the course each day while Popov, a major winner in 2020, has to stay back.
“It’s the last week, she’s going to feel left out,” said van Dam. “She’s just focused on next year. It’s been a strange year no matter what. It sucks for sure, for both of us. But it is what it is.”
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/12/17/anne-van-dam-water-shot-cme-group-tour-championship/