It was the kind of putt most players would dream of having to win their first major championship: a simple one-footer to clinch a career-defining victory.
I.K. Kim found herself in that exact situation on Sunday afternoon at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. After going birdie-birdie on the previous two holes to take a one-shot lead going to the 18th hole, it seemed fitting that Kim's hard work would be repaid with a tap-in for the win.
Game over, drive home safely. Nobody misses a one-footer for the win ... except I.K. Kim. In one of the most incredible misses in golf history, Kim ended up watching the putt go in the hole and come back out, forcing her to settle for bogey and a playoff with Sun Young Yoo.
"We are told all the time, don't let it just be a formality," Golf Channel on-course announcer Judy Rankin said. "Go through your little routine and make sure you roll the ball in the center of the hole…You have to get yourself up for the playoff. You can't let what happened on 18 affect how you play in the playoff. And so often, it does."
Of course, the miss did affect Kim, who lost on the first playoff hole when Yoo rolled in a birdie putt for the win.
We tend to use superlatives in sports to describe a truly awful moment as the "worst" in a sport's history. More often than not that moment can be debated. This time around, however, there's no debating that was the worst miss in golf history. Period. End of story.
Talk all you want about Arnold Palmer blowing a seven-shot at the 1966 U.S. Open, Greg Norman's Masters 1996 Masters collapse or Jean Van De Velde blowing it on the final hole of the 1999 British Open. But all of those were train wrecks we saw coming.
But I.K. Kim's miss? Nobody saw her missing a one-footer for the biggest win of her career. You just hope she can get over the gut-wrenching defeat and come back stronger than ever.
- Kraft Nabisco Championship