10 Most Humiliating Missed Putts in Golf History

Neil Helsper@neilhelsperContributor IIApril 27, 2012

10 Most Humiliating Missed Putts in Golf History

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    It happens to all of us—missing an absolutely can't-miss gimme putt.

    But most of us aren't playing for millions of dollars and eternal glory in golf's biggest events.

    From major championship meltdowns to Ryder Cup disasters, here are the 10 most stomach-turning, bone-chilling, humiliating missed putts in the history of golf.

Scott Hoch (1989 Masters)

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    It's every golfer's dream: You have a tap-in putt to win the Masters, earn a green jacket and forever be a part of golf history.

    In 1989, that scenario became a nightmare for Scott Hoch—he missed a two-footer that would've won the tournament. Hoch won eight more tour events in his career but never captured a major championship.

Doug Sanders (1970 Open Championship)

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    Winning a major is a life-changing event for any golfer, but because of a missed three-footer, Sanders never got to experience it. He barely missed the heavily-breaking short putt on the final hole of the 1970 Open, ending up in a tie with Jack Nicklaus.

    Nicklaus defeated Sanders in an 18-hole playoff the next day.

Ben Hogan (1946 Masters)

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    Even golf's greatest icons miss a tap-in once in a while.

    At Augusta in 1946, Ben Hogan needed a par on the final hole to get into a playoff with Herman Keiser. After a missed birdie attempt, Hogan lined up a two-footer to tie—and completely missed the hole. Hogan had the last laugh, though; he went on to win nine majors, while Keiser is merely a footnote in golf history.

Brandt Snedeker (2009 BMW Championship)

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    At the last hole of this 2009 playoff event, Snedeker just needed to two-putt from 15 feet to get himself into the season-ending Tour Championship. Instead, he four-putted in one of the most gut-wrenching scenes ever recorded on a golf broadcast.

Hale Irwin (1983 Open Championship)

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    Irwin was in contention during the final round of the 1983 Open when he nearly holed a 20-footer on the 14th hole. Nonchalantly attempting to tap-in his next putt, Irwin completely missed the ball.

    He went on to lose to Tom Watson by just one stroke.

Joe Daley (2000 PGA Tour Q-School)

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    The six-round PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament (or "Q-School") is golf's most pressure-packed event. Play well and you earn a PGA Tour card; play poorly and you're back to the mini-tours or worse.

    In 2000, a player named Joe Daley hit a perfect two-footer that somehow bounced back out of the hole. He went on to miss earning his tour card by one stroke.

Craig Stadler (1985 Ryder Cup)

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    Every Ryder Cup has its turning points, and in 1985, a critical moment was Craig Stadler's heartbreaking missed putt on Day 2. Standing over a 14-inch putt that would have won the match for himself and his partner, Curtis Strange, Stadler failed to convert, halving the match with Europe.

    The next day, the European squad won the Ryder Cup for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Sam Snead (1947 U.S. Open)

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    In the summer of 1947, no one had ever heard the idea of "icing the kicker"—but that was about to change.

    Snead (already a two-time major champion) holed a heroic birdie on the last hole of the U.S. Open to force a playoff with Lew Worsham. After 17 holes of the playoff, Snead and Worsham were tied and both hit their approach shots to two to three feet. Just as Snead attempted his putt, Worsham asked for a ruling to see if Snead truly was away. He was, and when Snead finally hit the putt, he missed.

    Worsham made his and took the U.S. Open title. Snead won five more majors, but he never took home a U.S. Open trophy.

Stewart Cink and Retief Goosen (2001 U.S. Open)

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    On the final hole of the 2001 U.S. Open, Cink thought he'd need a par to have a chance to tie Goosen, who had just a short putt remaining. After missing his 15-footer for par, Cink hurriedly swiped at his bogey tap-in—and missed that, too.

    Moments later, Goosen missed a two-footer that would've won the tournament outright. Instead, Cink's day was finished and Goosen had to battle Mark Brooks in an 18-hole playoff the next day.

I.K. Kim (2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship)

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    Kim had won three LPGA events but had never taken home a major championship title when she grabbed the lead at this year's Kraft Nabisco. After lining up a one-footer on the last hole that announcers called "a formality," she somehow missed to trigger a playoff with Sun-Young Yoo.

    Likely overcome with disappointment, Kim lost the tournament on the first playoff hole.


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