By Sean Goff | Sports Reporter
Adam Scott became the latest Major ‘choker’ at the Open Championship on Sunday when blowing a four-stroke lead with four holes to play.
The Australian wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last to blow it when the finish line approached. But it will come as little consolation that some famous names have had to shake off the haunting feeling that they may have seen their one chance of reaching golf’s Holy Grail disappear forever.
Here are five others who let the pressure of the big occasion get to them.
1. Jean van de Velde, Carnoustie 1999
It will come as little consolation to Scott but Frenchman Jean van de Velde could afford a double-bogey on the 18th and still be crowned Open winner. After a disastrous hack off the tee and dropped shot at the Barry Burn (water hazard) he ended up taking a triple bogey seven. Lost in a three-way play-off with Justin Leonard and eventual champion Paul Lawrie.
2. Greg Norman, Augusta Masters, 1996
Two-time Open winner (1986+ ’93) Greg Norman sat six-strokes clear at the top of the Masters leaderboard in 1996 but ended up losing by five strokes to Nick Faldo. Three consecutive bogeys from 9-11 started the rot and was quickly followed by a double-bogey on 12. Norman shot a final day 78 while Faldo helped himself to a 67 and the winner’s Green Jacket.
3. Rory McIlroy, Augusta Masters, 2011
The 2011 Masters threatened to destroy Rory McIlroy’s pro-career before it had really begun. The Northern Irishman led by four-strokes on the final day after playing scintillating golf at one of the world’s toughest courses with rounds of 65, 69 and 70. But his hopes disappeared with a triple bogey on the 10th that saw him shoot 80 to tie for 15th behind Charl Schwartzel.
4 Jason Dufner, PGA Championship 2011
A five-stroke advantage with four holes to play at the 2011 PGA Championship in Atlanta, Georgia proved too much for the then 34-year-old seeking his first Major and first PGA Tour win. Bogeyed 15th, 16th and 17th as nearest rival Keegan Bradley birdied the last two and forced a play-off which he won on the third extra hole.
5. Phil Mickelson 2006 US Open
Mickelson had the chance to become only the fourth player to win three consecutive Majors in 2006 but let slip a one-shot lead on the 18th on the final day which saw Australian Geoff Ogilvy crowned champion. Famously hit a tree-trunk bang on after trying to cut around it and then found a greenside bunker with his next attempt. His double-bogey handed the title to Ogilvy. (3.33 minutes in)