Here we look at our Top 7 Major Meltdowns including Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie in 2006...But can you guess who tops the list?
Top 7 Major Meltdowns
7 – Rory McIlroy 2011 Masters
We are not trying to take anything away from Charl Schwartzel’s masterful 66 during the final-round of 2011’s Masters tournament, but this was Rory’s tournament to lose and he did so in colossal fashion.
Starting the day four clear, his lead had been slashed to one stroke as he headed to the back-nine. Then, he proceeded to drop six shots in three holes as he tripled the 10th, bogeyed 11 and then had a four-putt double bogey on 12. Add one bogey at the 15th for good measure and the meltdown was complete.
He did storm back at the next Major championship though, winning the 2011 US Open in sublime fashion winning by eight strokes at Congressional.
6 – Dustin Johnson 2015 US Open
On the final hole of his 2015 US Open, Dustin Johnson faced a 12-foot putt for eagle and his first Major title. He missed. He then had a four feet left to get into a playoff with Jordan Spieth. He missed that too. His final score was four-under and what makes this even worse is that he shot a 65 on the first round of the tournament to lead. He then played the remaining 54 holes in one over.
He did make up for it next year though, winning the 2016 US Open by three at Oakmont, but his 2015 meltdown was incredible to watch.
Often billed as Phil Mickelson’s lost US Open, he was not the only one to lose his bottle over the final stretch, although his thrashing around near the hospitality tent at the 18th at Winged Foot will live long in the memory.
With a horribly sliced drive off the tee and failed recovery, the American failed to make par to win or bogey to make a playoff, as did Colin Montgomerie after a perfect drive down the middle of the same hole. With multiple bodies littering the 18th, Geoff Ogilvy held his nerve to win the only major of his career.
4 – Adam Scott 2012 Open Championship
Adam Scott’s four-bogey stretch in the last four holes at Royal Lytham was particularly shocking and gruelling to watch as it was so unexpected and came from a universally popular player who seemed to have sealed the deal with a long birdie putt on the 14th.
In the end a combination of poor shot selection and nerves let Ernie Els win by a shot. Thankfully for Scott fans, the Australian soon bounced back to win the 2013 Masters.
There have been two official US Open trophies…
The US Open playoff format changed in 2018
Four men top the lost with four wins…
3 – Greg Norman 1996 Masters
The final round at the 1996 Masters would haunt Greg Norman for the rest of his career, with a six-shot lead blown to allow his bitter rival, Nick Faldo, to win by five after a wonderful 67 to Norman’s 78.
When considering Norman’s prodigious talent and ball-striking, it is incredible to think that he only won two majors, but nerves on the big stage mean he will be remembered as a nearly man, with eight 2nd place finishes.
2 – Doug Sanders 1970 Open Championship
Paralleling Dustin Johnson’s three-putt in 2015, Doug Sanders contrived to do the same from an even shorter distance on the 18th at St Andrews.
Needing two putts to beat Jack Nicklaus, he left his first putt two feet short before squirming his next one right. Inevitably, he would go on to lose the playoff the following day.
1 – Jean Van de Velde 1999 Open Championship
The meltdown to end all meltdowns. Jean Van de Velde’s seven on the final hole at Carnoustie in 1999 may be one of the most memorable moments in sporting history, with the famous image of him barefoot in the Barrie Burn now written in Open folklore.
Needing only a double bogey to win, Van de Velde contrived to zigzag between the rough, the burn and the sand to make a triple bogey and lose the playoff to Paul Lawrie. At least Dustin Johnson’s three putt wasn’t quite THAT bad.
Don’t forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.