For all you golf fans, your Masters chub should begin to get full staffed today. Day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute it’ll grow to the longest its ever been. Because we are just a week away from the greatest golf tournament in the history of the sport. So, for the next seven days, I’ll write a blog counting down my Top 7 favorite moments in Masters history.
No. 7 — The 1996 Greg Norman Collapse
My favorite part about the Masters is when a golfer has a major meltdown. We saw it with Rory McIlroy’s collapse in 2011 and again in 2016 when Jordan Spieth couldn’t keep it together. The best moments from the Masters aren’t always the happiest. What makes the Masters the best tournament all-time is that it puts golfers through a grinder and sometimes spits them right the fuk out. Great shots, hole in ones, melt downs, young guns out lasting the old bucks, those are some of the great things about this golf tournament. I was three years old when my seventh favorite moment in Masters history occurred.
Greg Norman. Yeah, those golf shirts and shorts that you bought throughout your high school golf career at Kohl’s. The Great White Shark, yeah, that Greg Norman. He had one of most epic collapses in Masters history. Up six shots going into the final round as if he could do no wrong. Then hole by hole he couldn’t stop the bleeding. Norman led Faldo by four strokes heading into the ninth hole. But that’s when the nightmare really started for him. He left his iron shot short as it rolled and rolled and rolled off the front of the green with a tough chip to follow. Honestly, I don’t think that ball has ever stopped rolling to this day. He hung his cowboy topped head as he’d drop a shot with Faldo staying at nine under after missing a real curvy looking putt. Almost as curvy as bae. And the Great White Shark was wounded. If sweat was blood, he was covered in it. He went to the back nine with a two shot lead after starting the day six shots ahead of Faldo. SIX DAMN SHOTS.
Norman then cranked an iron left on the 10th and followed it up with an aggressive chip shot that went blasting by the hole. Leaving Norman a tough par putt. It didn’t fall and he’d just carded back to back bogey’s as Faldo trailed by one. But it seemed Norman had a little mojo back when he landed his third shot in the middle of 11th green. He then missed his birdie putt that was oh so close as it burned the edge. However, he then proceeded to miss his gimmie putt and he had just carded back to back to back bogey’s and he was tied at nine under with Faldo. And the most deceiving looking ass shot in the history of the game game at the par-3 12th. Norman’s shot was hit right at the flag. If it was the right distance it would’ve landed in the cup. But it didn’t. It fell short and trickled into the water. The Great White Shark’s teeth had been pulled from his mouth as a double bogey put him two shots behind now leader Faldo. But Norman wasn’t dead. Just almost. He birdied the 13th to climb to eight under, however Faldo birdied as well. Norman’s final birdie of the day came at 15 but Faldo also birdied the hole. Norman trailed by two shots with three holes left. Then the final blow to the heart came at the 16th par 3. And as soon as iron struck ball Norman knew it was over. He had pulled it left into the water and dragged his club head along the ground as the crowd didn’t know what to do with their hands. It wasn’t like Faldo was making a charge. He birdied three of the final six holes but the crowd was feeling Norman’s pain. He hadn’t lost this tournament because of better play by another golfer. Norman handed it to Faldo on a choke cherry platter. He doubled 16 to fall to seven under. And Faldo would go on to birdie the 18th to win by five shots. It was a great moment for Faldo. But the 1996 Masters won be remembered by Faldo winning his third Green Jacket. No. It’ll be remembered by Norman and his ultimate meltdown.