It truly was a weekend filled with sport and certainly two amazing comebacks … BUT!
If you are a sport fanatic there was barely a moment starting at 3:00pm Thursday and ending nigh on 9:00 on Sunday that your eyes had time to be rested. The Masters of course was the major attraction (you will excuse the pun) but there was more. The Chinese Grand Prix with practice on Friday and Saturday and the race early Sunday morning. The Singapore Sevens was always just a click away (wow well done Blitsbokke – The Greatest Comeback Ever’). Super Rugby swa The Bulls and Stormers wave the SA flag but the Lions woes continue and well the Sharkes rather than the greatest comeback performed the greatest turn around with a score that is too embarrassing to put in writing. How can a side who played so well just a week earlier play so badly? Judging by the stadium crowds Super Rugby has lost its glamour. Of course there was soccer and even some good tennis and exciting IPL and local (SA) cricket – enough to give one a sore thumb!
But golf took centre stage in what is being dubbed ‘The Greatest Comeback Ever’.
But was it?
Here are a few that could be considered great comebacks.
Paul Lawrie in the 1999 Open was trailing by 10 strokes going into the final round and won the coveted Claret Jug. It must be said he was rather helped by the greatest collapse when Jean van de Velde triple bogeyed the final hole to allow Lawrie the win.
Bethany Hamilton (Surfing) lost her entire arm when a 14-foot tiger shark attacked her as she surfed with friends in Hawaii in 2003. Doctors estimated that she lost almost 60% of her blood as she underwent several surgeries. Remarkably she was released after only a few days. Even more remarkably she returned to surfing just three weeks later. She was 23 years old. She won the Explorer Women’s division at the 2005 National Championships, and joined the pro circuit in 2007, where she continued to win events.
Then we had an almost tragedy when Monica Seles was stabbed by a spectator in 1993. She missed two full seasons but returned in 1995, winning her first event — the Canadian Open — before reaching the final of the US Open the following month.
She lost to Graf, and had to wait until the next grand slam before she won. Sadly, the 1996 Australian Open was to be her only major singles victory although she was runner-up in two more.
At the 1976 German Grand Prix, a terrifying crash saw Niki Lauda trapped in his car and engulfed in flames. Less than six weeks after the accident Lauda returned to the track for the Italian Grand Prix, finishing fourth. He had won the driver’s championship in 1975, ended up missing out on the title by one point in 1976, and then went on to win it in 1977, and again in 1984, taking his place among the sport’s greats.
And yet another golfer, Ben Hogan survived a horrific head on collision with a Greyhound bus. He suffered a broken clavical, a complex double fracture of the pelvis, a fractured left ankle, broken ribs and facial injuries. Doctors said he would probably never walk again, let alone play golf. In hospital, he then nearly died from blood clots, which resulted in circulation and fatigue problems which lasted the rest of his life. Eighteen months after his near-fatal accident, Hogan won the 1950 US Open at Merion. He won the Masters and the US Open in 1951, playing just five events and winning three of them.
In 1953, he won five out of six, including the Masters, the US Open and the Open Championship. Hogan won nine majors in his career, six of which came after the car crash.
And there are many others so if you can remember some why not add them to the comeback list in the COMMENTS below. Any human ‘comeback’ achievement, not only sport.