In the great tradition established by Leon Lett's Super Bowl showboat, Gus Frerotte's headbutt, Mark Madsen's dance and, the coup de grace, Bill Gramatica's post field goal torn ACL, French golfer Thomas Levet's leap joined the pantheon of sports celebrations gone terribly wrong.
Last weekend near at Le Golf National, Levet shot a closing round one-under-70 to claim the French Open crown (the other, non-Rafael Nadal-dominated French Open) by one stroke over Mark Foster and Thorbjorn Olesen.
The Frenchman celebrated the win—his first since claiming the Spanish Open in May 2009—by jumping into a lake near the 18th hole with his countrymen cheering and photographers surrounding him.
But the celebration proved to be pretty costly: when he hit the ground beneath the water Levet fractured a bone in his shin and has been forced to withdraw from next week's British Open.
"I will have screws and a plate inserted which will ensure that my shin recovers completely," he told the press. "I will be off for six weeks which is very bad timing, with so many important tournaments coming up. However, the wonderful memory of winning my national Open will definitely keep me going through my recovery."
Man, talk about denial. Sure, there may be some comfort in knowing he won the French Open, but a British Open crown definitely would have been more solace.
Twice last decade Levet came painfully close to winning the Open Championship—which, including the Masters and the US Open, is probably the most prestigious and important title to any European golfer—finishing tied for fifth in 2004 after starting the day just two back and losing the 2002 edition in a playoff with Ernie Els.
Clearly he was playing great golf heading into the Open, which he had earned a spot in, but now he won't have a chance to compete. And at 42, this might have been his last, best effort to claim the Claret Jug.
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