News & ToursApril 19, 2016

Jean van de Velde to make Senior Tour debut at Carnoustie, site of British Open meltdown

18 Jul 1999:  Jean Van de Velde of France still smiling despite finding the Barry Burn with his third shot on the final hole of the British Open at Carnoustie in Angus, Scotland. Van de Velde took a triple bogey seven to squander a three shot lead. \ Mandatory Credit: David Cannon /Allsport
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18 Jul 1999: Jean Van de Velde of France still smiling despite finding the Barry Burn with his third shot on the final hole of the British Open at Carnoustie in Angus, Scotland. Van de Velde took a triple bogey seven to squander a three shot lead. \ Mandatory Credit: David Cannon /Allsport

I thought it was criminals, not victims, that return to the scene of the crime?

Jean van de Velde will live in infamy thanks to his epic meltdown at the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie. For those too young to remember -- or perhaps you've trained yourself to forget that train wreck in vivid detail -- van de Velde entered the 72nd hole with a three-shot lead over Justin Leonard and Paul Lawrie, only to make a royal mess on the 18th for a triple bogey. He would eventually lose the playoff and claret jug to Lawrie.

Van de Velde never quite recovered from the Carnoustie catastrophe, failing to finish inside the top 10 in a major again.

Seventeen years later, the Frenchman has decided he wants revenge. Van de Velde is set to make his senior tour debut at the Senior Open at Carnoustie.

"I don't get tired of people talking about 1999 and reminding me about what happened," van de Velde said. "I am lucky enough to still be involved in golf, but I am not as exposed as I was before so it doesn't come up as much in conversation."

Van de Velde doesn't get out much anymore, telling the Euro Tour's website he plays just 20 times a year, so competing for the Senior Open title is likely out of the question. Still, the fact that van de Velde is even contemplating a return shows moxie.

All we ask is that, should you find yourself with the lead on the 18th Jean, please hit the iron.


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