Dustin Johnson and the 10 Worst Big-Stage Screw-Ups of the Last 20 Years

Jon StarSenior Writer IAugust 16, 2010

Dustin Johnson and the 10 Worst Big-Stage Screw-Ups of the Last 20 Years

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    KOHLER, WI - AUGUST 15:  A PGA of America rules official chats with Dustin Johnson (R) on the 18th green as Nick Watney (L) looks on during the final round of the 92nd PGA Championship on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits on August 15, 2010 in Kohle
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Dustin Johnson endured one of the worst Sunday screw-ups in recent golf history when he grounded his club on the final hole of the 2010 PGA Championship. 

    Johnson's mistake conjured up memories of other memorable meltdowns on the links, but is Johnson's screw-up among the 10 worst of the last two decades?

    There are both individual and team failures that have altered championships and other big-stage moments.

    But does Johnson's misstep rank among the worst? Here is a look at the 10 biggest big-stage screw-ups of the last two decades.

10. Lindsey Jacobellis

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    Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis was cruising to the gold medal at the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino. 

    That was until she tried a trick grab on the final jump on the run and crashed, losing both her gold medal and her pride.

    She laid on the ground like a crashed turtle as she watched gold slip through her hands, and millions of Americans slap their foreheads.

9. Pistons Take the Wrong Man

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    The Pistons had the second overall pick in the 2003 Draft.  The Pistons watched LeBron James come off the board at No. 1, but they still had the chance to select either Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh or Carmelo Anthony.

    Detroit had a shot at any one of these three franchise players.

    Instead, the team selected Darko Milicic, who turned out to be one of the biggest busts in NBA history. 

    The Pistons won the NBA title in 2004, but they have since slipped into mediocrity, mainly because of their costly miss on Milicic.

8. Troy Smith and Ohio State

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    Troy Smith was the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner and won the award by the biggest points margin in the award's history.

    The undefeated Buckeyes were 12-0 heading into the national championship game and were heavy favorites over the Florida Gators.

    What ensued amounted to a back-alley mugging of Ohio State by Florida, including the constant harassment of the recent Heisman Trophy winner. 

    The 41-14 final score remains arguably the darkest day in the long history of Ohio State football.

7. Chris Webber costs Michigan a title

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    It was the 1993 national championship game between Michigan and North Carolina. 

    With his team down two points, Chris Webber grabbed a pivotal rebound but had no one to pass to and was trapped in the corner.

    Instead of fighting his way out, Webber called a timeout that his team did not have.

    The result was a technical foul, giving North Carolina the opportunity to ice the game and win the title. 

6. Leon Lett decides to strut

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    There was nothing damaging about Leon Lett's screw-up during Super Bowl XXVII.

    But it was a mistake that came to pigeon-hole Lett's career, and make Lett the personification of hot-dogging gone wrong in the NFL.

    Lett recovered a fumble and ran free down the sideline toward an uncontested touchdown—or so he thought.

    Lett, whose Cowboys were already in full control of the game, strutted his way into the end zone until Bills wide receiver Don Beebe caught Lett from behind, stripped the ball, and forced a turnover. 

5. Mariano Rivera slips in Game 7 of the World Series

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    There is no debating that Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer of all time, but even the greatest can screw up. 

    There was no bigger screw-up than Game Seven of the 2001 World Series. 

    The Yankees were three outs away from their fourth consecutive title.

    However, an errant throw toward second base and a bloop single wrecked New York's dream of four straight rings and put the biggest of the very few ink blots on Rivera's resume.

4. Jean Van de Velde implodes at 1999 British Open

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    This picture of Jean Van de Velde from the 1999 British Open epitomizes arguably the biggest failure in golf history.

    Van de Velde stepped to the18th hole needing a double-bogey six to hoist the trophy. 

    The odds were in his favor, considering Van de Velde birdied the hole in the second and third rounds.

    But then Van de Velde simply melted down. He hit the ball all over the hole, finding nearly every hazard, including the creek.

    Van de Velde finished with a triple-bogey and fell back into a three-way playoff that he failed to win.

3. Zinedine Zidane loses cool in 2006 World Cup

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    Zidane was in his final World Cup match in the finals of the 2006 World Cup.

    His French team and Italy were locked in a hotly contested draw.

    Apparently there was a boil-over point for Zidane, who headbutted Marco Materazzi and was promptly ejected from the game. 

    The teams went to penalty kicks, where Italy captured the World Cup trophy. 

    Zidane, a national hero in France, was subjected to a disgraceful, disappointing exit with no say in the game's final outcome.

2. Dan O'Brien fails to reach new heights at 1992 Olympics

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    Dan O'Brien was supposed to be the American icon in the decathlon at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

    O'Brien cruised through the first nine events and was set to qualify with a simple showing in the pole vault.

    Instead, O'Brien's ego got the best of him, as he passed on earlier, shorter heights.

    O'Brien went straight to the highest jumps in the pole vault but failed in all three attempts.

    The result was an American Olympic icon failing to make the team.

1. Scott Norwood kicks wide in Super Bowl XXV

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    It was the first of four straight Super Bowl appearances for the Buffalo Bills, but it was the closest they got to the Lombardi Trophy.

    Bills kicker Scott Norwood lined up with the chance to win Super Bowl XXV. 

    However, Norwood's kick went wide right, gave the Giants the win, and set the Bills on a course towards four straight disappointing losses on the biggest stage.