There are few things more challenging in sports than stringing together four quality rounds of golf against a field of the world’s best players to win the Masters Tournament.
Over the years, the major championship has seen its share of spectacular highlights and its fair share of spectacular lowlights. While we tend to remember the good moments, it’s the not-so-good moments that make them shine brighter.
Whether it be a bad front nine during the final round or a missed putt on the 72nd hole, a collapse can happen to anyone, even to the best in the world. It’s what makes the game great, and we can all relate.
Here are the Top 3 collapses at the Masters Tournament:
Rory McIlroy, 2011
Rory McIlroy was in prime position to take home the Green Jacket after 54 holes. The Northern Irishman held a firm four-shot lead entering the final round and looked ready to coast to victory.
After a shaky start to the round, McIlroy held his lead through the first nine holes, only to see it slip away in a flurry. The 21-year-old star made triple-bogey on 10, three-putted for bogey on 11 and followed it up with a four-putt double-bogey on 12 to put an end to his hopes.
Jordan Spieth, 2016
With a five-shot lead at the turn in the final round, Jordan Spieth looked ready to cruise to a second straight Green Jacket in 2016 after winning the major the year prior.
However, back-to-back bogeys on 10 and 11 followed by a quadruple-bogey on 12 (at which he put two balls into Rae’s Creek) sent Spieth into a tailspin and he could never recover. Spieth finished the round with a 1-over 73 that landed him a runner-up finish and he was tasked with presenting the Green Jacket to Danny Willet.
Greg Norman, 1996
Arguably the most epic collapse in Masters history belongs to “The Shark,” Greg Norman, who in 1996 held a six-shot lead entering the final round. The Australian was seeking a wire-to-wire victory after leading the championship after each of the first three rounds.
After a 1-over start through the first eight holes, Norman’s lead was down to three, but a series of mistakes on holes nine through 12 saw the lead slip down the drain. He bogeyed nine, 10 and 11 before double-bogeying 12 to fall two shots back of Nick Faldo. The rest was history as Faldo cruised to a five-shot victory.
Francesco Molinari, 2019
Molinari held the final round lead through 11 holes before putting shots in the water on 12 and 15 that all but sealed his fate. Molinari fired a final round 2-over 74 to finish in a tie for fifth.
Kenny Perry, 2009
Holding a two-shot lead with two holes to play, Perry was on track to become the oldest Masters champion at 48 years of age. But back-to-back bogeys on 17 and 18 dropped Perry into a three-way playoff that saw Angel Cabrera rise to the top.