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5 of the most memorable playoffs in US Masters history

The competition has had some fantastic playoffs since it brought in sudden death playoffs.

THE INTRODUCTION OF the sudden-death play-offs in 1976 in the Masters killed the days of the long and drawn out play-off.

The longest came in 1935 when Gene Sarazen defeated Craig Woods in a 36 hole playoff.

It came after Sarazen holed a 235-yard shot for an albatross. While some Masters’ events haven’t been as lively, there have been a number of classic finales in more recent times.

5. 1966 Jack Nicklaus beats Tommy Jacobs and Gary Brewer Jr

Nicklaus ended level with Tommy Jacobs and Gary Brewer Jr, after both he and Jacobs missed chances for a birdie that would have given them the green jacket. A first three-way play-off ensued the following day as all three faced another 18 holes.

While Brewer failed to continue where he left off the previous day, Nicklaus and Jacobs were inseparable through the first nine. But Nicklaus managed to keep his nerve to win by two and become the first player to win back-to-back Masters. With the previous winner to give the winner the green jacket, it was decided that Nicklaus would put it on himself.

Source: IMG SportVideoArchive/YouTube

4. 2009 Angel Cabrera beats Kenny Perry & Chad Campbell

Kenny Perry looked set to win the Masters when a birdie on the 16th hole gave him a two-shot advantage. But he then went on to bogey both the 17th and 18th to finish -12, level with Campbell and Cabrera. 

On the first playoff hole, Campbell put his tee shot to the right of the fairway. Cabrera looked to end his hopes with a shot into the trees. Perry landed it straight down the middle. Perry pushed his approach right and just short of the bunker while Campbell found the bunker. It gave the advantage back to the Argentine whose approach shot landed eight-feet from the pin. Perry came up short with a chip and both held their nerve while Campbell’s nerves didn’t hold.

The 10th decided it once again, with Perry hitting his approach shot left of the green. While he avoided a bush, Cabrera saw his shot skip to within 10 feet of the green. Perry’s effort raced past the hole and gave Cabrera two shots to win the Masters when missed his next effort. Cabrera calmly took two shots to win and wear green.

Source: Kurt Schlachter/YouTube

3. 1989 Nick Faldo defeats Scott Hoch after two holes

Nick Faldo needed a bit of luck to get his first of three Masters wins. The first hole of the playoff, the 10th hole saw Faldo find the bunker in front of the green. Hoch had no such problems, finding the green around 30 feet short.

Wet sand caught the club and left Faldo short of the hole giving advantage once again to Hoch. While Hoch didn’t rush his put and left himself a three-foot down-hill put for a green jacket, Faldo’s effort left him outside Hoch’s ball, but kept his composure to put for par. Hoch knocked his put three and a half feet past the hole before putting an uphill put for par.

It came down to the 11th hole where Faldo had bogeyed the hole on each of his four trips over the weekend. Faldo attacked the green while Scott seemed to buckle under the pressure. Hoch hit his effort 30 feet right from the green and a chip left him with a six foot from the pin. Faldo did what he failed to do the rest of the Masters and landed his effort for birdie to become the Masters Champion.

Source: SirFaldo/YouTube

2. 2013 Adam Scott defeats Angel Cabrera

The speed and quality of the golf displayed by both saw the 2013 Masters stand out as an Australian finally won the green jacket. Adam Scott rolled in a brilliant birdie put to snatch a one shot lead over Cabrera. The Argentine followed the Australian in birdying the 18th to force a playoff which started on the 18th. Scott’s approach shot rolled back on the fringe of the green with Cabrera imitating it, but rolled a few yards back. His chip shot ran just by the hole. Scott’s chip came up short.

The second playoff hole saw them replicate each others shot, with Scott’s approach a little higher on the green than Cabrera. The Argentine sent his put from right to left just behind the pin and tapped in for par. Adam Scott, practiced putted before sinking his birdie.

Source: jygolfer94/YouTube

1. 1987  Larry Mize defeats Seve Ballesteros & Greg Norman

Local boy Larry Mize may have Curtis Strange to thank for his 1987 victory. On the 18th, Mize had a driver out before watching Curtis Strange, who he was playing with, hit a perfect 3 Wood off the tee. It convinced him to do likewise and ended up putting for a birdie to clinch a playoff.

On the first playoff hole, the 10th, Mize’s better tee shot saw him on the green with a chance of birdie while Ballesteros and Norman were off the green. The Spaniard’s shot from the fringes rolled four feet past the hole. Norman then saw his put come up go a half foot wide of the hole. Mize saw his put to win inch left of the hole. Mize and Norman made par while Ballesteros failed to follow suit.

A playoff against Norman in Kemper the year previous helped ease Mize’s nerves. He then saw his approach shot at 11th come rolling back while Norman hit his approach right of the green. Mize’s sand wedge landed on the green and rolled all the way into the hole. His reaction, throwing his club into the air and jumping around before regathering himself. Norman failed to make his shot as Mize became the first Champion from Augusta. 

Source: armonsol/YouTube

Originally published 7 April, 0600

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Cillian O Conchuir

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