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Masters 2023: Almost-Masters legend Len Mattiace on his crushing loss and the time he purposely didn't break a course record


Fred Vuich

Heading into Sunday at the 2003 Masters, the top of the leader board was the stuff major-championship dreams are made of. Vijay Singh and David Toms were three back of 54-hole leader Jeff Maggert. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jose Maria Olazabal were four off the lead. Jim Furyk was lurking, too.

And then there was Len Mattiace, a two-time tour winner at the time, but not a guy anybody thought was a threat in the final round of the most pressure-packed tournament in golf. He promptly proved he was exactly that, shooting a stunning seven-under 65 with a bogey at the 72nd hole.

That was enough to earn a spot in a playoff with Mike Weir, who posted a four-under 68. The duo went out to the 10th hole for a sudden-death playoff, where Mattiace, unfortunately, made a mess, allowing Weir to claim his lone major victory with a bogey five.

This week marks the 20th anniversary of that fateful day for Mattiace, who now resides in Jacksonville and still kicks it around on the PGA Tour Champions. The 55-year-old was kind enough to chat with us on The Loop podcast about his all-time great runner-up finish, the box of letters from fans he still keeps from that day and much more. Please, have a listen to our interview with Mattiace below. Plus, Masters picks and best bets from Alex Myers, Stephen Hennessey and myself.