Pro loses playoff after bizarre driver snap on way to tee

Anne Van Dam's driver snapped as she was being driven to the tee for a playoff on the Ladies European Tour.

Disaster struck Anne Van Dam just before a playoff.


There are some situations where you can almost expect your driver to snap. You give it to the airlines without a stiff arm or good travel case. You get a little angry after your fifth straight drive of the round snap-hooks into the woods again (sure, it was the recoil). You give it to your beginner friend who starts taking some overly steep practice swings in the parking lot.

But driving in a cart on the way to a playoff for a pro event? That’s probably one of the least likely situations to break a driver. But unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to LPGA pro Anne Van Dam Sunday.

Van Dam began the final round of the Ladies European Tour’s KPMG Irish Open with a three-shot lead but played a shaky final round on Sunday and had to birdie the last to get into a three-way playoff with Sweden’s Lisa Pettersson and Smilla Tarning Soenderby of Denmark.

No worries. Van Dam, a five-time LET winner, got down in two from near the front of the green at the par-5 18th to secure her spot, but by the time she reached the 18th tee at Dromoland Castle for the second time, her bag was a little lighter.

The 27-year-old from the Netherlands rode a cart back out to the tee for the playoff. As she and an official were heading up the fairway, they were directed to head outside the ropes to get to the tee.

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The driver pulled up to the rope and Van Dam grabbed the rope to lift it over them. But she let go too soon.

As the cart pulled through, unbeknownst to Van Dam and the official, the rope got caught on Van Dam’s driver and dragged the whole bag off the back of the cart. When Van Dam went back to pick it back up, her driver headcover was left behind, detached from the rest of the club.

Under the Rules of Golf, a playoff in stroke play is a new round, meaning Van Dam was free to replace her driver before the playoff began. However, Monday Q Info‘s Ryan French reported that was unlikely for Van Dam.

In the video above from the broadcast, a broadcaster asks, “It hasn’t happened again, has it?” That’s because, according to French, Van Dam was already playing this week with her backup driver. The airlines broke her gamer on the way to Ireland.

Even without her driver, Van Dam managed to find the putting surface in two in the playoff. However, before she even attempted her eagle effort from about 15 feet, Soenderby, who shot 62 to make the playoff, drained her eagle putt from outside Van Dam. The 2019 European Solheim Cup member’s effort to extend just missed.

A long week for Van Dam ends with two broken drivers and a brutal runner-up finish.

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at



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