Rory McIlroy and the Biggest Disappointments in Masters History

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Rory McIlroy and the Biggest Disappointments in Masters History
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

As much as Jim Nantz and the CBS crew like to babble on about Augusta's stunning beauty, from the luscious greens to the (almost) annual blooming of the azaleas, the course has a darker, more sadistic quality to it.

Augusta can appear inviting at times, with its four eminently reachable par fives and numerous slopes that feed balls down toward the cup. Rounds well into the 60s are not uncommon here, and five or six strokes to par can be lobbed off in nine holes alone. 

Yet, the course is a study in the delicateness of "control." When a golfer has it on these grounds, the red numbers shoot up like fireworks. Players cruising around the course may even start to wonder "if" rather than "when" their next bogey will come.

That would be a foolish thought, naive at best. If and when a player does lose that "control," even by a fraction, Augusta can bite back swiftly and mercilessly. Any clean scorecard can be riddled by squares, and a round that may have appeared promising can balloon into the high 70s or low 80s. The hopes of putting on a green jacket, so realistic and promising at one point, may be entirely defeated by a series of splashes around Amen Corner.

Such is the brilliance of the Augusta layout. The course may bring jubilation to a player as he birdies his way through Sunday's back nine, but even just one bad shot or two may lead down a destructive path and torment a golfer for years to come.

Unfortunately, the latter is the focus of this list. Many a great player has experienced the euphoric feeling of a green jacket being slipped over their arms. The tales of near misses and woe are too present to be forgotten.

A player can be nothing short of effervescent on the first tee Thursday but in these 16 cases, such buoyancy turned to despair by Sunday evening.  

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