Epic collapses in golf's major championships

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Epic collapses in golf's major championships

PGA Championship

Epic collapses in golf's major championships

By

Brooks Koepka will start the final round of the 2019 PGA Championship with a seven-shot lead, a margin that might seem insurmountable given how well the three-time major winner has played so far at Bethpage Black. However, star players have let majors slip away in the past, often after they looked unbeatable too.

Koepka and his fans are hoping that Sunday turns out to be an uneventful stroll through the park and his name is not added to this list of golfers who blew big leads at major championships.

Greg Norman
1996 Masters
Having never won at Augusta, the Great White Shark started the day with a six-shot lead over England’s Nick Faldo. Buy the 11th hole, it was gone. Norman wound up shooting 78 that Sunday and never won a Masters.

1999 British Open
Jean Van de Velde
Standing on Carnoustie’s 18th tee on Sunday, Van de Velde had a three-shot lead and was poised to win the oldest major in golf. After a poor drive, Van De Velde went for the green on the par-4 hole with a 2-iron instead of laying up short of the Barry Burn. Famously, his ball went right and hit the grandstand, then ricocheted down into the walled creek that splits the fairway. The Frenchman took a drop, and then hit into a bunker, before making a 6-footer to force a playoff with Justin Leonard and Paul Lawrie, who eventually won.

Rory McIlroy
2011 Masters
The young Irishman started the final round at the Masters with a four-shot lead after having led or had a share of the lead after each of the first three rounds. He still had the lead on the tee at the 10th hole, then hit a tee shot that struck a tree and bounced left, next to a cabin. That led to a triple bogey and started his nightmare back-nine. McIlroy wound up shooting 80 and finished 10 shots behind Charl Schwartzel, the eventual winner.

Jason Dufner

Jason Dufner at the 2011 PGA Championship. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

Jason Dufner
2011 PGA Championship
On Sunday at the Atlanta Atheltic Club, after Keegan Bradley made a triple-bogey six on the 15th hole, the Vermonter was five shots behind tournament leader Jason Dufner. Bradley made birdies on 16 and 17, and then Dufner carded bogeys at 15, 16 and 17. In the blink of an eye, the pair were tied and Bradley wound up winning a three-hole playoff to capture his first major.

Adam Scott
2012 British Open
At the 141st British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Adam Scott, 32, held a four-shot lead with just four holes to play and appeared poised to win his first major. However, the Australian made four straight bogeys and wound up losing to South Africa’s Ernie Els.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home