Monday, November 20, 2017
Golf

Spieth joins list of notable Masters meltdowns

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jordan Spieth's Masters meltdown on the back nine Sunday was hardly the first at Augusta National.

It's not even the worst, considering Spieth still had a chance going into the final few holes even after a quadruple bogey on No. 12 completed a six-shot dropoff over three holes. But he finished with 1-over 73 and 2-under 286, three behind winner Danny Willett.

Here are some other Masters final-round tumbles:

• The most infamous was 20 years ago in what remains the greatest collapse in major championship history over the final 18 holes. Greg Norman shot 78 to blow a six-shot lead, and Nick Faldo won with a clutch 67, the first Brit to win at Augusta.

Ed Sneed bogeyed the last three holes in 1979 and lost in the Masters' first sudden-death playoff. Fuzzy Zoeller won in his Masters debut.

• In 2011, Rory McIlroy squandered a four-shot lead going into the final round. He shot 43 on the back nine and wound up 10 shots back. Charl Schwartzel won his first — and to date only — major.

Aces are wild: For the first time in the tournament's 80 years, three holes-in-one were made at one hole in a Masters round. Shane Lowry, Davis Love and Louis Oosthuizen aced the 170-yard par-3 16th. Oosthuizen's was the wildest. After hitting the green, his ball ricocheted off J.B. Holmes' ball before rolling into the cup. Holmes' ball came close to falling in, too. If it had, Holmes would have had to put it back where it had landed originally.

For Rory, it's mental: Rory McIlroy admitted he felt the pressure of trying to complete a career grand slam after a disappointing weekend. He went into the third round one shot behind Spieth but struggled to 77 to fall five shots back, a deficit he never threatened to make up Sunday. His final round of 1-under 71 had seven birdies and six bogeys.

"I've been in position before (to win the Masters), and I haven't got the job done when I needed to, and I don't think that's anything to do with my game," he said. "I think that's more me mentally. I'm trying to deal with the pressure of it and the thrill of the achievement if it were to happen. I think that's the thing that's really holding me back.

DeChambeau top amateur: Bryson DeChambeau, in contention after the second round, shot 72 in the final round and was the low amateur at 5-over 293. He shot three rounds of 72 along with a Saturday 77 that dropped him out of contention.

The reigning U.S. Amateur and NCAA champion, 22, turns pro today and plays his first event for pay at the RBC Heritage this week at Hilton Head, S.C.

"I think there was some hype, I guess, about me playing well in the first two rounds," DeChambeau said. "It was fun to see, first and foremost, and (the fans) were so nice to me."

divots: Bernhard Langer's hopes of becoming the oldest major champion took a huge blow early in the final round and he never recovered. Langer, 58, who started the day two behind leader Spieth, had two bogeys and a double in the first five holes. He finished 7 over for the day and 6 over for the tournament. … Lee Westwood's second-place finish was his ninth top-three finish in a major without a win, more than any other player in the modern era. … Smylie Kaufman, one shot out of the lead in his Masters debut going into the final round, closed with 81 and was 7 over for the tournament.

The Golf Channel, ESPN and the PGA Tour contributed to this report.

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