Robert Garrigus was nowhere near the scene of the accident when presumed Farmers Insurance Open champion Kyle Stanley [right] triple-bogeyed the 18th hole at Torrey Pines South on Sunday to fall into a playoff with Brandt Snedeker. (Not surprisingly, Snedeker won on the second extra hole.)
Garrigus, who triple-bogeyed the last hole to fall into a playoff he would eventually lose at Memphis in 2010, had struggled on Torrey's poa annua greens and bogeyed his last two holes to miss the cut at the Farmers, so he was back home in Scottsdale, Ariz., watching the back nine at Torrey on TV.
"I left to go get a massage at 3:30 or 4 o'clock," he said by phone Sunday night. "I saw Kyle make a five-footer on 15 for par. I thought it was a lock; Brandt made bogey on 17. It was a four-shot lead with three holes to play."
Alas, just as Garrigus had buckled under the pressure of trying to win his first tournament in 2010, the enormity of what the winless Stanley was about to accomplish seemed to hit him all at once. He spun a wedge off the green and into the water, hit his fifth shot on the green and three-putted.
"I saw what happened and thought, 'I'm one of the only guys in the United States who can relate to how he feels,' because I've been there and it's brutal," Garrigus said. "He'll win. It's not the end of the world, but it sure feels like it at the time."
Garrigus won at Disney at the end of 2010 and dedicated the victory to Tony Kornheiser, the co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, who had suggested fans might never hear from Garrigus again.
"He didn't know what he was saying," Garrigus said. "I got some good pub out of it. It was a lot of fun."
Similarly, he believes the first win for the shell-shocked Stanley might not be far off.
"I wish I had his number because I would call him," said Garrigus, who tied for third at the U.S. Open last summer and will make his first Masters start in April. "I'm sure I'll see him soon. I'll tell him, 'You've got to get there to blow it.' That's what Chris DiMarco said to me: 'You've got to get there to blow it, and you'll be there again. Don't worry about it. It's just golf.'" (Photo: Kohjiro Kinno/SI)