News & ToursApril 11, 2015

9 recent major championships that looked to be blowouts and how they actually turned out

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Jordan Spieth has dominated the course and the field through three rounds at Augusta National. But let's not fit the young man for a green jacket just yet -- major championships are 72 holes. With that in mind, here's a look back at nine other recent majors that looked like they'd end in blowouts. HINT: They didn't always.

1996 Masters

The situation: Greg Norman held a six-shot lead through 54 holes.

The result: Norman appeared to have a first green jacket all but locked up, but a disastrous 78 coupled with a 67 by playing partner Nick Faldo added another chapter to the Aussie's history of crushing defeats in majors.

Dramatic moment: Norman falling to the ground in frustration after nearly chipping in for eagle on No. 15. Tragic.

1997 Masters

The situation: Tiger Woods held a nine-shot lead through 54 holes.

The result: Woods shot a final-round 69 to break tournament records for lowest score (18 under) and margin of victory (12 shots).

Dramatic moment: Woods making it to Augusta National in time for his Sunday tee time.

Related: The winners and losers from Day 3 at Augusta

2000 U.S. Open

The situation: Tiger Woods held a 10-shot lead through 54 holes.

The result: Woods wound up setting tournament records for lowest score (12 under) and margin of victory (15 shots).

Dramatic moment: Woods making it to Pebble Beach in time for his Sunday tee time.

2000 British Open

The situation: Tiger Woods held a six-shot lead through 54 holes.

The result: Woods won by eight shots to set the scoring record for all major championships at 19 under.

Dramatic moment: David Duval got within three shots with four birdies in his first seven holes before fading away. He made a quadruple bogey on No. 17 to finish T-11. Rough.

2009 U.S. Open

The situation: Ricky Barnes grabbed a six-shot lead midway through the third round.

The result: Barnes' lead shrunk to one by the end of the third round and then shot a final-round 76 to lose to Lucas Glover.

Dramatic moment: Glover went 6-iron, 9-iron on the final hole to make par and give us the most boring winning final hole/celebration combo ever.

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2010 British Open

The situation: Louis Oosthuizen held a four-shot lead through 54 holes.

The result: The South African extended his lead to win his only major by seven shots.

Dramatic moment: The TV broadcast showed some solid footage of St. Andrews.

Related: Jordan Spieth at the Masters

2011 Masters

The situation: Rory McIlroy held a 54-hole lead of four shots.

The result: McIlroy shot a final-round 80 to finish T-15 and Charl Schwartzel ended up winning.

Dramatic moment: Rory's premature trip to Butler Cabin on No. 10 after a snap-hooked drive that led to a triple bogey and the beginning of his demise.

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2011 U.S. Open

The situation: Rory McIlroy held a 36-hole lead of six and a 54-hole lead of eight.

The result: McIlroy won his first major by eight shots and set 11 tournament records, including for lowest score (16 under).

Dramatic moment: McIlroy almost aced the signature par-3 10th at Congressional on Sunday. He may have only been ahead five at the time.

2014 U.S. Open

The situation: Martin Kaymer led by six after 36 and five after 54.

The result: Kaymer won by eight.

Dramatic moment: Johnny Miller tearing up over NBC's final U.S. Open broadcast.

That leads us to this week. The situation? A 21-year-old phenom holds a four-shot lead at Augusta National (sound familiar?) through 54 holes. The result? We don't know yet, but hopefully we'll at least have some drama.

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