(Reluctantly) recalling 10 of the most infamous heartbreaks in Masters Tournament history

It was fairly difficult recalling the many stories of Masters collapses, heartbreaks and near-misses without reaching for the Scotch on occasion. These are some heart-wrenching -- even unfair -- stories. As magnificent as Augusta National appears to TV audiences and patrons year-in and year-out, the flipside is inevitable, and often tragic, disappointment for a lot of players.

With 2015 winner Jordan Spieth the newest golfer to be added to the list of Masters heartbreaks as a result of his quadruple bogey on the par-3 12th in the final round of 2016, we jogged our memory in search of the tournament's other most heartbreaking failures.

So, Jordan, you're not alone. And the cruel part about this piece is the hundreds if not thousands of pro golfers who have teed it up at the Masters only to have never made the cut or contended on Sunday. Only the most elite golfers in the game ever even have the chance of suffering humiliation under the brightest microscope in the game of golf.

Here then, are 10 of Augusta National's most infamous heartbreaks, sorted in chronological order. We're curious what your most memorable Masters moments are, so tweet us @golfadvisor or let us know in the comments below.

Back-to-back misses for Hogan

Ben Hogan had several near-misses before finally winning his first green jacket.

In 1942, Hogan played in an 18-hole playoff versus Byron Nelson. Despite finding himself up three strokes after four holes, Nelson would rally and win by a shot.

The tournament would not be staged between 1943-45 due to World War II, but Hogan returned in '46 to take care of business. Known to be a machine who rarely ever made a self-inflicted mistake, Hogan three-putted from 15 feet on the 72nd green in to fall by a shot to Herman Kaiser. It would be Kaiser's only major championship in a career that included five PGA Tour wins.

Hogan would have to wait until 1951 to win the first of his two Masters Tournaments.

Amateur Ken Venturi can't hold on

Founded in part by the game's most celebrated amateur golfer Bobby Jones, the Masters is well known for its recognition of the game's best amateurs. The low amateur is invited to Butler Cabin along with the winner and since 1952 has been awarded the Silver Cup. But the winner of the Masters has never been an amateur.

Ken Venturi certainly had the best chance in 1956 to become the first. He began the final day up four shots over Cary Middlecoff. But a back-nine 42, including a fatal bogey on 17, led to an 80 and he lost by one shot to Jackie Burke Jr., who shot 71. Venturi would come close at Augusta but never win. In 1958, Arnold Palmer beat him by a shot, thanks in part to a controversial provisional ruling on the 12th hole. It was the first time CBS broadcast the weekend rounds on television.

The spirit of Bobby Jones continues to wait for that first amateur to put on the green jacket.

Arnold Palmer can't defend title in 1961

With four green jackets, it may seem like Arnold Palmer owns the joint, but even The King has had his share of heartbreak at Augusta National.

The 1961 Masters featured a bizarre finish that was replayed on Monday after Sunday rains flooded the course just before 4 p.m. The entire field restarted the round the following day. Gary Player's back-nine 40 opened the door for defending champion Arnold Palmer, who arrived on the 18th tee with a one-shot lead.

But Palmer's approach from the fairway caught a bad lie in the bunker short-right of the green, and he airmailed his sand shot and ultimately missed a bogey putt to force a playoff with Player, who would win by a shot.

Palmer would win again in 1962 and '64.

"What a stupid I am."

It's golf's ultimate "teachable moment." Always, always double-check your scorecard.

In the final round of 1968, opponent Tommy Aaron was keeping Robert de Vicenzo's scorecard. Aaron accidentally wrote down a 4 for de Vicenzo on the 17th hole instead of a birdie 3. De Vicenzio didn't catch the error and signed the scorecard. As a result, his score was one higher than Bob Goalby, who would win outright on Sunday rather than compete in an 18-hole playoff versus the reigning Open Champion.

The gaffe would leave the Argentinian to lament, "What a stupid I am."

De Vicenzo would never win a Masters, but Tommy Aaron would go on to win in 1973, his only major championship victory. And in an even greater touch of irony, his playing partner, Johnny Miller would incorrectly record a higher score while keeping Aaron's card -- but Aaron caught the mistake.

Golfing World: Spotlight on Roberto de Vicenzo


Tom Weiskopf: Four-time runner-up including '75 epic

Perhaps the only other golfer in the same league as Greg Norman in terms of raw talent and near-misses at Augusta National is Tom Weiskopf, who finished second here four times between 1969-76.

The 1975 tournament was particularly electric, as Weiskopf, Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus were the top three players in the world and all in the final two pairings on Sunday. But a poor tee shot from Weiskopf on the 16th led to an unlikely bogey, and he missed an 8-foot putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Nicklaus, would would beat Miller and Weiskopf by one shot. 1975 would be considered by some to be the greatest Masters ever, and Gil Capps and Johnny Miller penned a book on it, called The Magnificent Masters .

Aside from the runner-up finishes, Weiskopf's 13 recorded on the 12th hole in 1980, is one of the par 3's most notorious moments.

Watch: Weiskopf talks Augusta National and the '75 Masters


Ed Sneed falters down the stretch to allow first-ever sudden-death playoff

1979 was the first year of the new sudden-death playoff format at the Masters (previously ties were settled with an 18-hole playoff on Monday, last staged in 1970). Leader Ed Sneed, entering Sunday's action up five shots, was hardly a household name compared to the big names chasing him; Nicklaus, Watson among them. But Sneed bogeyed the final three holes, despite hitting the fairways on 17 and 18, and opened the door to a three-way playoff with Tom Watson and Fuzzy Zoeller. Zoeller would ultimately win, and Sneed would never again come as close to a major championship.

Hoch's misses open door for Faldo

Nick Faldo won three green jackets over the course of his Masters Tournament career, and the ironic thing is that in his two most stellar final rounds, the day will be more known for another golfer's failures.

Faldo's final-round 67 in 1996 would be the backstory behind a final-round 78 from Norman. In 1989, Faldo won his first Masters off the back of a final-round 65 that put him in a playoff with Scott Hoch, who had missed a short par putt at the 17th and missed a 25-foot birdie on 18 to win outright.

On the first playoff hole, No. 10, Faldo's approach found the bunker, and he missed a 15-footer for par. All Hoch needed to do was make a two-foot putt, but missed, and had to make a four-footer coming back. Faldo made birdie on the 11th hole from 25 feet to claim the jacket.

Headlines were particularly ruthless to Hoch, thanks to certain slang term that rhymes with his last name often used to describe moments like this in sports. Hoch would win 11 times on the PGA Tour, but never a major.

The many tragedies of Greg Norman

Where do we begin with Greg Norman at the Masters?

He has at least four excruciating defeats at Augusta National, all in very different ways. The final round in 1996 is a day few golf fans ever want to recall.

But we start in 1986, when Norman began the final round in the last pairing. The famous surge by Jack Nicklaus, who went 4-under in the last four holes, was nearly matched by Norman, who also birdied four holes in a row down the stretch, including a remarkable shot through trees on the 17th to set up a birdie. But on the final hole, Norman's wayward approach shot and missed par putt gave Nicklaus what many consider the greatest Masters victory of all time .

The following year, Larry Mize snatched the green jacket away from Norman in a playoff on the 11th hole with his famous chip-in . And in 1989 Norman bogeyed the 18th hole to miss out on a playoff by one shot.

In 1996 Norman, at the age of 40, entered the final round with a five-shot lead over Nick Faldo. Faldo put on some pressure of his own, shooting a 67, and Norman fell apart on Amen Corner, going 4-over par, en route to a 78.

Fairways of Life: Nick Faldo recalls 1996 Masters victory


McIlroy goes into the backyard

Many believed young Northern Ireland phenom Rory McIlroy had a golf game purpose-built for Augusta National: powerful drives and soaring irons that could skewer the par 5s not unlike Tiger Woods in his prime.

That appeared to be coming to fruition in 2011 when McIlory, then 21, entered the final round up four shots. But on the 10th tee, everything went terribly wrong. He hit a vicious pull-hook that hit trees and found its way into the backyard of a house. He would go on to triple-bogey the 10th and shoot a back-nine 43.

Visibly dejected on the back nine, many wondered if the weight of Augusta would hurt McIlroy's confidence. But that would be emphatically put to rest as as he would win his next major outing, the U.S. Open at Congressional, setting 11 championship records en route to an eight-shot victory. But McIlroy hasn't seriously contended at Augusta since.

The unthinkable happens to Spieth

No one saw this coming.

Many of the greatest collapses on Sunday in the Masters occurred to golfers gunning for their first green jacket or even major championship. That is what makes what happened on Sunday of the 2016 tournament to Jordan Spieth, a golfer who has exhibited such incredible control over Augusta National in his short time here, that much more improbable.

In the final round of 2016, the defending champion birdied nos. 6-9 and headed to the back nine up by five. After cautious swings on nos. 10 and 11 that led to two bogies, Spieth found the water twice on "Golden Bell": once from the tee and once with a nasty chunk from the drop area.

He would admit in an interview afterwards that his caddie, Michael Greller, confirmed to Spieth to go for the middle of the green, but Spieth ultimately went for the pin. The quadruple bogey gave Englishman Danny Willett a comfortable lead, and despite a few back-nine theatrics from Spieth and Lee Westwood, Willett won by three shots.

Augusta National's 12th hole doomed Spieth's Masters bid in 2014 as well, when he found the water in a similar spot, and fell to Bubba Watson. But regardless, Spieth's historic Masters run early in his career is unmatched. In his three Masters appearances, he has two T-2s bookending a victory.

Video: Ranking Spieth's collapse at the Masters


Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.
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(Reluctantly) recalling 10 of the most infamous heartbreaks in Masters Tournament history
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