The Crying Game
April 10, 2012
Bubba Watson, 2012 Masters
Watson took his time tapping in a final putt from less than a foot. He didn't waste any time, however, breaking into full waterworks mode once the ball was in the cup. Here, he sobs in tears of joy as his mother, Molly, gives him a hug.
Michelle Wie & Paula Creamer, 2011 Solheim Cup
Losing as a team representing your country hurts, especially when you're a heavy favorite to win. After capturing the previous three Solheim Cups and eight of the event's first 11, the Americans were stunned by Europe's dramatic 15-13 upset. For young golfers like Creamer and Wie, it was the first loss in the biennial international competition.
Harrison Frazar, 2011 St. Jude Classic
The journeyman pro never knew if he'd win on the PGA Tour and was even thinking about finding a different occupation for 2012. But in his 355th career start, he finally broke through and then broke down. We won't criticize him one bit for acting like he'd just won a major.
Hunter Mahan, 2010 Ryder Cup
As if losing a nail-biting Ryder Cup wasn't bad enough, everything had come down to Mahan's match with Graeme McDowell. His infamous chunked chip shot ended the American team's final-day charge in disappointment, but his press conference tears quelled those who often accuse U.S. team members of caring less about the biennial competition than their European counterparts.
Lorena Ochoa, 2010 Tres Marias Championship
The LPGA's top-ranked player announced her surprisingly-early retirement in April, but she teed it up officially one more time a week later in her native Mexico. An emotional Ochoa managed to finish sixth, before leaving the game she had dominated to start a family.
Steve Stricker, 2010 Northern Trust Open
No matter how many times he wins or no matter what the circumstances are, one thing is certain about Steve Stricker in victory: he's going to shed a few tears. Known as one of the nicest guys on the PGA Tour, we can only imagine his reaction if he ever wins a major.
Christina Kim, 2009 Solheim Cup
Kim has never been known to hold back her emotions, but this was a little ridiculous. Here, she is consoled by teammate Natalie Gulbis during the competition's second day. One can only imagine her having a much different reaction the following day when the U.S. wound up winning.
Darren Clarke, 2006 Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup is always an emotional week, but this edition was especially tough for Clarke. But having lost his wife, Heather, to breast cancer just six weeks prior, Clarke played inspired golf. He won all three of his matches to lead Europe's cup defense, setting off a tearful celebration.
Tiger Woods, 2006 British Open
Through fist pumps and tantrums, Tiger doesn't hold back from expressing highs and lows on the golf course. But giving fans a window into his guarded personal life? That's a different story. However, in winning his first major since the death of his father, Earl, this was a rare occasion in which he let everyone know exactly where his heart was. It was a beautiful moment, but unfortunately, there haven't been many (any?) like it before or since.
Jack Nicklaus, 2005 British Open
For his 163rd and final career start at a major championship, Nicklaus appropriately chose St. Andrews, long known as the birthplace of golf. After a lengthy playing of the 18th hole to allow for photographers to snap as many shots of the historical moment as possible, he teared up again in his post-round press conference. Walking away from a sport is always hard for a great champion, but it's harder to imagine anyone handling it more gracefully than the Golden Bear.
Sergio Garcia, 1999 Ryder Cup
Remember when this guy actually seemed to care about the game of golf? Here, a 19-year-old Garcia cries while witnessing the Americans stage their epic comeback win at Brookline with European captain Mark James. Where did this loveable kid go? Come back to us, Sergio.