Oh, golf, you cruel, cruel game. You giveth, and then you knock us down, make us lay face-down on the fairway, scare us within an inch of our lives, and taketh away our wallets, our dignity and our low scores.
Such was the case with Robert Allenby, who was tooling along Thursday in the first round of the WGC-CA Championship at Doral. Through 14 holes, he'd carded six birdies and an eagle, and was holding a lovely little four-shot lead.
And then ... uh-oh.
Allenby proceeded to bogey the final four holes of the Blue Monster, dropping himself from -8 to -4 and out of the lead. Only one shot out, yes, but still.
To his credit, Allenby didn't whine, complain or blame the course. He understood that this is how things go with this stupid game: "In all fairness," he said afterward, "I didn't hit bad shots. I don't recall actually hitting one bad shot."
Allenby had some ugly landings on the 15th, 16th and 17th that cost him a shot on each. The 18th, one of the toughest holes in golf, was the final indignity, and Allenby was lucky to get away with just a bogey there after ending up in the treacherous greenside bunker. "That's probably the scariest bunker shot you'll ever face," he said. "Downwind, downhill, downhill stance and all the grain going toward the water."
Three days left, and Allenby can hope that the Blue Monster has had its way with him already. Could've been much worse; could've been the Smoke Monster.