Sanders still ruing miss that cost him millions

Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:08pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - He ran with the Rat Pack, he befriended U.S. presidents and big-name celebrities but Doug Sanders will forever be remembered as the man who missed THAT putt in the 1970 British Open at St Andrews.

The American had suffered a string of major championship near misses when he walked on to the 72nd green at the Home of Golf needing to sink a three-foot putt to defeat the great Jack Nicklaus.

Sanders, agonizingly, failed to convert and went on to lose out to Nicklaus in a playoff the following day.

"I thought in my mind that I had already won it but you shouldn't really do that," Sanders told Reuters in an interview as he paced up and down the driving range at golf's oldest major.

"I walked up to my ball, looked down at the line and saw what I thought was a pebble. I bent over to get it but it wasn't a pebble, it was just where the sun had burned the grass.

"All the fans on the other side of the green started to laugh. They had a good laugh and when I missed I got to have a good cry and lost a couple of million dollars on top of it," said the 81-year-old resident of Houston, Texas.

"But I can't complain about the life I've had and the people I've met, the friendships I've made."

Sanders has always had a penchant for brightly colored clothes and is as easy as ever to spot on the range, sporting a sky blue and lemon cardigan, bright yellow trousers and sky blue shoes.   Continued...

Former professional golfer Doug Sanders of the U.S. poses for a photograph following an interview with Reuters at the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne