12 Jul 2021

Spin back: Top 5 Open Championship collapses

1999 – Jean Van de Velde

The daddy of all golf collapses. Jean Van De Velde had a three-shot lead in the final group of the 1999 Open at Carnoustie and took 40 minutes to make a triple bogey to fall into a play-off which he would then lose to Paul Lawrie. Bad decision followed bad decision and the hapless Frenchman’s place in history is assured for all the wrong reasons.

2012 – Adam Scott

Royal Lytham witnessed a slow-burner of a collapse as Adam Scott bogeyed the final four holes to miss out by one stroke and allow clubhouse leader Ernie Els – who finished his final round a couple of hours earlier – to take home his second Claret Jug. Scottie put that disappointment behind him the following spring by winning The Masters.

1970 – Doug Sanders

Just two feet stood between Doug Sanders and an Open victory at St Andrews. The colourful American took an age to line up the putt, then stooped to brush away some detritus on his line, and instead of lining himself up again, he stood back over the ball and nudged it wide. An 18-hole play-off with Jack Nicklaus ensued the next day and the Golden Bear prevailed by one.

2003 – Thomas Bjorn

Two shots clear and three to play, Bjorn’s tee-shot to the par-3 16th hit the green but was gathered up by the contours and swept into a greenside bunker. His first attempt out came up short and rolled back in, and so did his second. Playing four, Bjorn blasted out safely and stroked the putt in for a double bogey five. He then bogeyed the 17th to fall behind clubhouse leader Ben Curtis and couldn’t birdie 18 to force a play-off.

1992 – John Cook

Two clear with two to play (sound familiar?), John Cook failed to make a routine two-putt birdie on the par-5 17th at Muirfield and then bogeyed the 18th after a wayward approach to allow Nick Faldo to step in and win his third and final Open title. “In hindsight, that was a mistake,” Cook later told GolfChannel of his 2-iron that missed to the right of the 18th green. “That was my mental mistake. It had nothing to do with anything else.”






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