Laurie Canter misses putt worth £1.5m – then finds water to lose LIV Golf place

Laurie Canter - Laurie Canter misses putt worth £1.5m – then finds water to lose LIV Golf place
Laurie Canter had lodged 11 starts on the Saudi-backed circuit last season - Getty Images/Jason Butler

It was, at the very least, a putt worth £1.5 million from five feet – and Laurie Canter missed it.

Not only that, but the 34-year-old from Bath topped his ball into the water on the next hole to ensure that he did not earn one of the three LIV cards for the 2024 season at the qualifying event.

So much for the Saudi-funded circuit being devoid of pressure because of guaranteed money. That narrative has played louder than ever after the capture of Jon Rahm, the world No 3, for £450 million on Thursday.

Of course, that would have been the case for Canter had he managed to come through the graduation event at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But in bizarre and tortuous scenes, the West Countrymen, who once played on the same tennis county circuit as Andy Murray, saw the chance to win a life-changing amount vanish in a few swishes.

Canter looked like cruising through, but bogeys around the turn caused him to fall behind Finland’s Kalle Samooja – who won on the DP World Tour last year – and find himself in a tie for second and three-player tussle for two places in a shootout.

And when Canter hit the green on par-five 18th – the first play-off hole – in two it seemed almost certain he would prevail, especially as his rivals –  Zimbabwe’s Kieran Vincent and Japan’s Jinichiro Kozuma – were in the trees and in the water respectively.

To add to the euphoric feeling, Greg Norman, the LIV chief executive was walking up the fairway and actually high-fived Cantlay. But his opponents both saved par, Cantlay three-putted and the trio went back to the tee.

Canter drove on to the edge of the lake and watched in horror as he then found the water.

With last-place in the 13 individual LIV 48-man fields receiving $125,000 (£99,641) this was clearly devastating for Canter, who has lost his card on the DP World Tour.

There is a possibility that one of the LIV teams will swoop in to sign Canter in the next few months, but, after a year of being a reserve in the LIV Golf League, this was an opportunity beyond gilt-edged.