Golf: 10 Biggest One-Hit Wonders Ever
Golf is a strange game.
One day you can't miss and the next day you wish you would have stayed home.
The players on this list seem to have a career that went the same day. One day, they were on top of the sport, hoisting one of the most revered trophies the sport offers.
Then a short while later, people needed to be reminded of who they were and what tournament they won.
But, hey, at least they had a moment of glory. Even if it was a very brief one!
10. Len Mattiace
The 2003 Masters will always be known for what could have been with Len Mattiace.
Heading into the final round, no one payed attention to the little-known American golfer. In fact, most had never even heard of him before that final day.
But during the final round of the Masters, Mattiace fired the round of his life, shooting 65 to find himself in a playoff with Mike Weir.
Upon reaching the playoff, Mattiace completely unraveled, allowing Weir to win with a bogey on the first playoff hole.
9. Brian Watts
Three rounds into the 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, Brian Watts was alone atop the leader board. With a two shot lead heading into championship Sunday, things were looking good for Watts.
That was until he began the finishing nine on Sunday, when he began to show his inexperience. By the time Watts reached the 18th hole, he needed to execute a miraculous up and down from the bunker in order to tie Mark O'Meara and force a playoff.
Unfortunately for Watts, he had no gas left in his tank in the playoff and O'Meara won easily.
8. Bob May
Bob May is a golfer who had a moment of glory last an afternoon.
In the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla, May drew even with world No. 1 Tiger Woods and began a fight for the ages.
May and Woods would eventually end up in a three-hole playoff.
On the first playoff hole, Woods had a 25 foot putt for birdie. As it was tracking to the hole, Woods knew it was good and chased it in the cup while pointing his finger at the ball. That moment would end up marking both of their careers.
For Tiger, it was an iconic moment during the beginning of a hall of fame career. For May, it was wondering what could have been.
7. Mark Brooks
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1996 marked the last good year for Mark Brooks in golf. That was the year he not only won his first major but also his last tournament.
Brooks won the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla, denying hometown favorite Kenny Perry his chance to win in front of his home fans.
6. Steve Jones
The name Steve Jones isn't widely known in the golfing world.
In 1996, Steve Jones became one of the few players to win the U.S. Open after going through the sectional qualifying process. Even more impressive, he withstood the pressure of being chased by Tom Lehman and Davis Love III on the final day to hoist the trophy.
5. Ben Curtis
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When Ben Curtis headed to The Open Championship at Royal St. George's, he was nervous, but since it was his first major championship, that was to be expected.
What wasn't expected was Curtis winning the darn tournament, become the only player since Francis Ouimet to win in their major debut.
Curtis won the tournament by one shot over Thomas Bjorn and Vijay Singh. In the process, he was the only player to finish under par.
4. Paul Lawrie
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You probably don't remember Paul Lawrie winning the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Instead you probably remember that tournament as the one Jean Van de Velde famously threw away.
So even though that Open will always be remembered as the one Van de Velde lost, Lawrie did overcome a 10 shot deficit to put himself in the playoff where he would eventually win it all.
3. Shaun Micheel
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If there is ever a time to hit the shot of your life, it is at a major championship with victory on the line.
On the 18th hole at Oak HIll, Shaun Micheel faced a tough approach shot out of the rough. Up by one, Micheel needed to get up and down for par to win.
Under immense pressure, Micheel hit his seven-iron to mere inches to leave himself a tap in for his first and only PGA Tour victory.
2. Rich Beem
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In 1995, Rich Beem quit the game of golf to become a salesman.
Seven short years later, Rich Beem found himself doing the most awkward victory dance in history at the 2002 PGA Championship at Hazeltine National.
On that magical Sunday, Beem found himself fighting off the best golfer in history in Tiger Woods. He watched Tiger birdie the final four holes of Hazeltine to set the clubhouse lead at nine under par.
Been then found the nerve to win by a single shot. And as his final putt dropped, he broke into that little dance.
1. Todd Hamilton
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By 2004, Todd Hamilton had made a nice career for himself on the Japan Golf Tour as the leading non-Japanese money winner in tour history.
But in one year that all changed.
In 2004, Hamilton finally won his PGA Tour card, allowing him to play with the big boys.
And during his rookie season, he captured the Honda Classic, which in itself would have made 2004 a good year.
So when the Open Championship headed to Royal Troon Golf Club, no one gave Hamilton a second thought.
That was until Sunday afternoon, when he stuck around the leader board and eventually beat Ernie Els in a four hole playoff, becoming the 2004 Champion Golfer of the Year.
Since that season, however, Hamilton has struggled to stay relevant.