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Who is the most disappointing winner of a tournament ever?


vamosjackets

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There are a bunch and many have been said already. Michael Campbell at Pinehurst jumps towards the top for me, I would say that's #2 on my list. I also agree that YE Yang is a good one. Danny Willet & Patrick Reed are both good ones.

 

The one that's jumping out for me the most though 2011 Masters with Charl Schwartzel. After 63 holes leading the whole tournament and watch a very young Rory melt away which allowed a handful of guys get back in it. I would say that one is it for me. 

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2 hours ago, Ferguson said:

Tom Kite's "questionable win" at the 1992 US Open.  It broke my heart Jay Don Blake had that tournament in reach and finished T6.  

 

 

How was it questionable? Kite led by 5 strokes at one point on the back nine, and the final margin was only close because he bogeyed twice late while Jeff Sluman birdied 18.  Plus Kite himself was victim of MANY close calls-I recall him in 1986 at Augusta falling apart when he missed his final putt to tie Jack, one of the most heartbreaking moments I've ever seen in the sport.

 

Plus if anyone was heartbroken in '92 at Pebble it had to be Dr. Gil Morgan, with his historic collapse after a 9 shot lead early in round 3.

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2 hours ago, vamosjackets said:

This is kind of a biggest *spoiler* question.  What winner of a PGA tournament were you most disappointed to see win?  Maybe because they beat your guy or because they were a no-name, one-hit-wonder or something?  

 

So, for me the two off the top of my head are:

1. Billy Horschel winning Puntacana (2024) over Wesley Bryan - the inspiration for this thread.

2. Nick Faldo over Greg Norman at the Masters (1996).  Greg deserved to win a Masters and had dominated so much until the last round, and it was so painful to watch him fall apart.  And, Nick had already won 2, so it was pretty anticlimactic. I was 15-yrs old and Norman seemed like a hero to me at the time. 

3. Tiger over Duval at the Masters (2001). This will be sacrilege to some, but I loved Duval and really wanted to see him win a Masters - He had the most dominant short-time-period run ever - more dominant than Tiger and Scheffler - He still holds the record for lowest number of starts to 10 wins (33 starts) by a significant margin while Scheffler is now second at 51, and I think Tiger is third at maybe 59?  He missed a 5-footer on 18 to send it to a playoff.  To my memory that seemed like the beginning of his decline from the top of the mountain into oblivion. Duval deserved a Masters at the height of his brightly burning, though short-lived star. Imagine Scheffler's run of dominance but somehow failing to win the Masters. 

4. Speith over Kuchar at The Open (2017). Why? Only because I've always liked Kuchar and hated to see him lose it, as he is considered at the top of the conversation of best players to have never won a Major (although Jim Furyk probably takes that title). He led it and seemed like he deserved it.  He was sitting in the fairway and had to just a knee while waiting so long for Speith to find his ball and get a ruling for relief from the grandstands and all that just to see Jordan hit his second shot close (which seemed undeserved - he kind of lucked out to get relief and a free drop to a good lie which would've been a terrible lie had it been simply the result of his shot).  

 

Someone's gonna say (and should say) Stewart Cink over 59-yr-old Tom Watson at the British Open (2009), but not me. I actually was disappointed at the time but am totally the opposite now because Stewart Cink has become one of my favorite players.  

?? ... what data is this from? ... how are you calculating this? ... he didn't get to 10 wins in fewer tournaments than tiger ... 

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15 minutes ago, tiderider said:

?? ... what data is this from? ... how are you calculating this? ... he didn't get to 10 wins in fewer tournaments than tiger ... 

Perhaps he meant fastest to 10 wins after winning his first event. DD didn't win his first event until around his 90th start on the PGA Tour. 

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2 hours ago, vamosjackets said:

This is kind of a biggest *spoiler* question.  What winner of a PGA tournament were you most disappointed to see win?  Maybe because they beat your guy or because they were a no-name, one-hit-wonder or something?  

 

So, for me the two off the top of my head are:

1. Billy Horschel winning Puntacana (2024) over Wesley Bryan - the inspiration for this thread.

2. Nick Faldo over Greg Norman at the Masters (1996).  Greg deserved to win a Masters and had dominated so much until the last round, and it was so painful to watch him fall apart.  And, Nick had already won 2, so it was pretty anticlimactic. I was 15-yrs old and Norman seemed like a hero to me at the time. 

3. Tiger over Duval at the Masters (2001). This will be sacrilege to some, but I loved Duval and really wanted to see him win a Masters - He had the most dominant short-time-period run ever - more dominant than Tiger and Scheffler - He still holds the record for lowest number of starts to 10 wins (33 starts) by a significant margin while Scheffler is now second at 51, and I think Tiger is third at maybe 59?  He missed a 5-footer on 18 to send it to a playoff.  To my memory that seemed like the beginning of his decline from the top of the mountain into oblivion. Duval deserved a Masters at the height of his brightly burning, though short-lived star. Imagine Scheffler's run of dominance but somehow failing to win the Masters. 

4. Speith over Kuchar at The Open (2017). Why? Only because I've always liked Kuchar and hated to see him lose it, as he is considered at the top of the conversation of best players to have never won a Major (although Jim Furyk probably takes that title). He led it and seemed like he deserved it.  He was sitting in the fairway and had to just a knee while waiting so long for Speith to find his ball and get a ruling for relief from the grandstands and all that just to see Jordan hit his second shot close (which seemed undeserved - he kind of lucked out to get relief and a free drop to a good lie which would've been a terrible lie had it been simply the result of his shot).  

 

Someone's gonna say (and should say) Stewart Cink over 59-yr-old Tom Watson at the British Open (2009), but not me. I actually was disappointed at the time but am totally the opposite now because Stewart Cink has become one of my favorite players.  

 

This youtube golf trend is something. I enjoy a lot of it. Even enjoy the Bryan Bros. But it still shocks me to see someone place Horschel's win over Bryan in a opposite field event as their biggest disappointment. 

 

2009 Open - Watson 3 putts 18 on the way to losing in a playoff at 59 y/o!

2011 Masters - Rory looks like the 2nd coming of Tiger for 3 rounds before an epic collapse

2016 Masters - Spieth falling victim to #12 on his way to back to back Masters at 22 y/o

 

Those are historic events with historic players. Just stunning to see someone place the Corrales Puntacana Championship, formerly a web.com event, above those major championships. Invest in Google, I guess. 

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27 minutes ago, Dutch1008 said:

 

This youtube golf trend is something. I enjoy a lot of it. Even enjoy the Bryan Bros. But it still shocks me to see someone place Horschel's win over Bryan in a opposite field event as their biggest disappointment. 

 

2009 Open - Watson 3 putts 18 on the way to losing in a playoff at 59 y/o!

2011 Masters - Rory looks like the 2nd coming of Tiger for 3 rounds before an epic collapse

2016 Masters - Spieth falling victim to #12 on his way to back to back Masters at 22 y/o

 

Those are historic events with historic players. Just stunning to see someone place the Corrales Puntacana Championship, formerly a web.com event, above those major championships. Invest in Google, I guess. 

Watson did not 3 putt on 18.  He hit an approach shot to middle of the green on 18th hole that hit a downslope and went long.  He didn't get up n down for par which put TW and Stewart Cink in a playoff which he lost.  

 

 

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I know a lot of people wanted Tiger to win, but Rich Beem was giving off some John Daly vibes back then.

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3 minutes ago, moostache said:

I know a lot of people wanted Tiger to win, but Rich Beem was giving off some John Daly vibes back then.

 

Rich Beem won a Tour event the week before the PGA if I remember right. Pretty great example of momentum in sports. He carried those awesome vibes from the previous event into a great performance at the PGA. 

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Rory’s back nine collapse at the 2011 Masters. He was just a kid and I felt poorly for him. 
Tom Watson’s loss to Stewart Cink in the Open. Watson was my favorite golfer when I was a kid. 

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3 minutes ago, redfirebird08 said:

 

 

Pretty wild that Faldo won 2 green jackets on the 11th green of all places. And both tournaments featured massive chokejobs from Scott Hoch & Ray Floyd. 

Scott Hoch was sometimes heckled as Scott Choke.  He went after someone once and grabbed their throat for saying that.  It was a pretty short putt that he missed.  That one you never forget. 

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For me the 3 biggest that I was alive to watch are:

 

1. Cink over Watson at 2009 Open Championship (I like them both, just really wanted to see Watson win it).

2. Willet over Spieth at 2016 Masters (My wife and I felt truly sad for Jordan at the end of that).

3. Faldo over Norman at 1996 Masters (I think it was the first Masters I remember watching and I was a huge Norman fan at the time).

 

I was not alive for this one, but the 1968 Masters has to be one of the biggest disappointments based on how it was decided. Feel bad for De Vicenzo (even though he should have checked his card). I'm sure Goalby felt like people tried to put an asterisk on his only major. 

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@vamosjackets your memory may be failing a bit on Duval in 2001.  He won the Open Championship 3 months later AND THEN started his decline.  Whether it was injuries…or longtime relationship ending…or, and most likely imo, he got to the top of the OWGR and thought “is this all there is”?  
For whatever reason he seemed to lose interest in the grind.  That is what kept Tiger going…and still does.  He seems to enjoy the process.

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8 hours ago, jonsnow said:

Nobody has mentioned Larry Mize holing out to beat Norman in the 1987 Masters? I happened to love that one, not that I disliked Norman back then, I was actually a big fan. But I knew Mize from playing junior golf with him & was ecstatic when he won. Plus,  got to go that year on Sunday & followed Larry all 18 holes plus the playoff.

 

the fact he got away with this in front of a ref on 15 too. 
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