He had a cruel lie less than 12 inches off the fringe. He couldn't putt, and he couldn't control the speed of the chip. He wedged it 10 feet past the pin and missed it coming back. It was his first bogey on 17 all week, and it left him in a tie with Calcavecchia. Grady was two shots back.
Calcavecchia hit an awful drive on 18. It sailed into the crowd, hit a spectator and fell 20 yards short of the one he had hit an hour before. But Norman has a knack for losing in his own impossible way, like hitting a drive on the final hole so far that it finds hazards nobody has thought of before. This thing went 325 yards and carried into a bunker few, if any, players had driven into all week. "That didn't roll into that bunker, did it?" Norman asked Edwards as he stepped off the tee.
"No chance," said Edwards.
It did. You know the rest. This tragedy is so old it's out in video. Calcavecchia pulled out a five-iron and hit his ball out of the rough so well it nearly brought tears to the eyes. "I just stood there watching it," he said later. "And I said, 'I don't care where it ends up, because that's the best shot I've ever hit.' " It ended up six feet from the cup.
Norman, meanwhile, faced an impossible shot on the lip of a bunker 120 yards from the green. To top it off, as he was standing over this most miserable of shots, he heard the live feed of BBC commentator Peter Alliss saying, "Oh, he must be most careful with this. He must not even take one grain of sand."
Norman, bless him, laughed. "The guy's telling me how to hit my own shot!" he said. But even Alliss couldn't hit that shot. It caught the lip of the trap, rolled into a trap 100 yards farther up and left him another unstrikable shot. Across the way, Norman's wife, Laura, turned and headed in.
What she missed was Norman hitting the shot too far, up the slope to the Troon clubhouse, out of bounds, and off the leg of Troon caddie master Bill McKnight. Norman now lay 4 in the trap, having to play from his previous lie, and said to hell with it, taking the most famous "X" in British Open history. Calcavecchia, lucky man, got to walk up to an 18th-green ovation for the second time of the day. "I said to myself, 'I can three-putt from six feet and still win the British Open!' "
He used one putt, kissed the trophy, made his speech ("How's my name going to fit on this thing?") and tried to schedule the first flight to Phoenix. "I'm getting home as fast as I can," he said. And if the baby isn't here by the August 10 start of the PGA? "I'm not going."
He called his wife. She was crying. "No," she said. "I haven't had the baby yet." They've got a name, if it's a girl.