If you think putting is hard, try standing over a three or four-footer with a million dollars or a major on the line. That’s when the real nerves kick in. While Tour pros are the best in the world, there are some instances where they’ll fold just like amateurs. Here are 10 pro putting choke jobs over the years.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 21, 2017
We get this choke list that nobody wants to be on started with the most recent missed shortie of the bunch. During the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson, World No.4 Jason Day had this four-footer to extend a sudden-death playoff with Billy Horschel. While it wasn’t quite a bunny, it also wasn’t that difficult of a putt, especially for a guy that rarely three putts…and didn’t have any during the week up until that point. Unfortunately, CBS gave him the “announcers curse” by flashing the “no three-putts this week” graphic on the screen just prior to him taking the putter back. As soon as the ball left the club face, it was never high enough and just barely grazed the left side of the hole giving Horschel his first PGA Tour win since 2014.
Golf … deceptively simple, endlessly complicated.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 20, 2016
You know the phrase “the golf gods giveth and they taketh?” Billy Horschel is all too familiar with it. Just as he was on the giveth end at the 2017 Byron Nelson, he experienced the taketh aspect during the 2016 RSM Classic. Horschel was fighting to stay alive in a five-man sudden death playoff, however, on the first hole, he let this shortie get away from him eliminating him from contention. Golf!
Dustin Johnson has experienced the full gamut of emotions during major championships, even though you’d probably never know it by looking at him. This heartbreak came during the 2015 U.S. Open when he had a chance to win his first major, but three-putted the 18th hole handing Jordan Spieth the victory.
We go back to the archives with this painful miss during the 1970 Open Championship at St. Andrews. Doug Sanders had this bunny for the win but pushed it with a nervous looking stroke. He ended up losing to Jack Nicklaus in a playoff. Unfortunately for Sanders, he never won a major in his career and was this close to it.
Brandt Snedeker is usually a lock on the greens with his patented pop stroke. However, nerves can do some wild things to even the world’s best players. Here he is during the 2009 BMW Championship needing two putts to keep his FedEx Cup playoff hopes alive. He didn’t just go down. He went down in flames.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 14, 2016
Lefty has experienced his share of heartbreaks. Hey, when you’ve won 44 times and have been on Tour since 1992, you are sure to experience a few. But this one had to sting. Looking for his first victory since his triumph at the 2013 British Open, he had this five-footer at the 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am to force a playoff but missed giving Vaughn Taylor the win.
Hale Irwin won three U.S. Open titles in his career, however he came this close to a British Open in 1983. While it wasn’t on the 72nd hole, Irwin whiffed this two-inch putt on the 14th hole at Royal Birkdale on Saturday. He ended up finishing one stroke behind eventual winner Tom Watson.
One of the more painful ones on this list comes from I.K. Kim during the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship. All she had to do was brush in this shortie to claim her first LPGA major, which was obviously easier said than done. Nerves took over and the putt stayed out forcing a playoff and ended up finishing runner-up. Ouch.
Lee Westwood has had his share of misfortune on the greens in his career, so much so that he is arguably referred to as the best player without a major. However, this miss came during Saturday of the 2016 Ryder Cup which would’ve halved the match and given Europe at least some hope heading into Sunday. Of course, the U.S. claimed victory 17-11 on home soil at Hazeltine.
During the 1989 Masters, Scott Hoch had two putts to win his first major championship. After missing the first, he left himself with this two-footer which he inexplicably missed as well. Nick Faldo went on to win on the second playoff hole giving him the first of his three green jackets.