x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Vaughan spirit has shone through

The ability of the human spirit to endure tragedy and adapt walked around the greens this weekend in the shape of Bruce Vaughan.

Bruce Vaughan on the 18th during the first round.
Bruce Vaughan on the 18th during the first round.

TROON // The ability of the human spirit to endure tragedy and adapt walked around the greens this weekend in the shape of Bruce Vaughan, the American player who has hovered around the higher reaches of this tournament since the opening day. His play has been majestic, but his dignity in the face of adversity carries with it more significance.

He could be found discussing "lucky breaks" after his third-round 69 on Saturday saw him enter yesterday's final round only one stroke adrift of the leader John Cook, but he will not remember 2008 as a year that brought him good fortune. He lost his mother, Maxine, in a car accident in June. His mother watched him participate at the Principal Charity Classic in Iowa. Three days later she was killed in a head-on collision with a delivery lorry, her sister Jo also suffered serious injuries.

Perhaps there has been something heavenly influencing his game this week in Scotland, because some of his play has been divine. There would be no more of a deserving winner than Vaughan, but golf is a game that does not hand out gifts as some of the earlier starters at Troon found out yesterday. The leader John Cook got to 10 under, with a three-stroke lead over Vaughan, with nine holes to play. The former US Masters champion Ian Woosnam finished his tournament on four over with a fine closing 69, while Wayne Grady closed on seven over after a final-round 72.

Mark O'Meara posted a 73 to finish his week on nine over, and was joined on that total by the former US Open champion Scott Simpson after his final round of 70. @Email:dkane@thenational.ae