Top Five Worst Putts in Golf History

Those with a nervous disposition look away now as we look through the five worst putts in golf history.

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There have been plenty of missed short putts over the years, some have been crucial and others have just been unthinkable.

We have put together our list of the five worst, which have cost some people Majors and others have just been down right embarrassing.

Hoch suffers Masters heartache

In 1989, the Masters went to a play-off as Nick Faldo and Scott Hoch couldn’t be separated after 72-holes with both golfers ending their four rounds on five-under-par.

Faldo had won his first Major two years earlier – The Open – but was looking to become the first Englishman to wear the Green Jacket. That dream looked to have slipped through his hands though on the first extra hole, the 10th.

After Faldo sent his approach into the green-side bunker, Hoch had two putts from 25 feet to win the first Major of the year. He sent his first putt two feet past the hole and then somehow lipped out his second.

Faldo then went on to birdie the second extra hole for Augusta success and while although Hoch enjoyed a successful professional career, he never won a Major title.

St Andrews the Venue of Sanders Drama

The 1970 Open Championship saw a leaderboard full of big names stars of the time and needed a play-off to eventually crown the winner.

In turned out to be Jack Nicklaus’ second of three Open crowns, but the Golden Bear was very fortunate to walk off the Old Course as the champion.

Fellow American Doug Sanders saved par at the 17th, after finding the infamous Road-Hole bunker, and took a one-shot lead up the 72nd hole.

The man from Georgia drove it straight down the middle on 18 and only needed a par to raise the Claret Jug, but somehow missed what seemed a straight forward par putt from inside three feet.

Sanders then lost the play-off and, just like Hoch, never got to win one of the Big Four tournaments.

Els Endures Embarrassing Masters Moment

Ernie Els will, quite rightly, be remembered as a brilliant golfer and a four-time Major winner – with two Open and two US Open successes.

One tournament he never won was the Masters and probably one of his most embarrassing moments came at August in 2016.

At the time he was 46 and not in the prime of his career, but the South African was playing the first hole on the opening round of the tournament.

After his approach finished off the green, Els looked to be on course for an opening par, when he chipped up to within three feet.

Not only did the Big Easy miss the par putt but he then walked off the first green after carding a nine, having six-putted! That is the highest first hole score in the history of the Masters, with Els going on to sign for a first round 80.

Snedeker Final Hole Nightmare

It may not be a Major, but Brandt Snedeker’s bank account was set for a healthy boost before things went horribly wrong in 2016.

Playing the 72nd hole at the 2016 BMW Championship, Snedeker needed a bogey to make sure of a place in the 30-man field for the end-of-season Tour Championship – with $10million for the winner.

The American had two putts from 14-foot to secure his spot, but after rolling his first putt three feet past, he was left a knee knocker.

The putt for bogey lipped out and frustrated at the miss, he then rushed the follow up and also lipped that out….with the gasps audible from the crowd.

Winged Foot meltdown for Lee

The 2020 US Open saw the most incredible green meltdown, with New Zealander Danny Lee six-putting the final hole in round three.

His first putt was from four feet, which makes it all the more incredible and left Lee saw angry that he smacked his back with the putter.

The 30-year-old later withdrew from the final round and cited a wrist injury – did he have that before or after slamming the club on the bag?!?!?

Shortest Missed Putt in PGA History?

It is difficult to be definitive about these things, but Ricky Fowler may well be the player the with the shortest missed putt in the history of the PGA Tour. What’s more, it ended up costing him a missed cut in the PGA Championship in 2020.

Take a look for yourself, and maybe it’ll remind you to take a moment before tapping in that tiddler during your next round.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Warren has been employed as a sport journalist for over two decades and as well as years of written experience, has also worked in other areas of the media including radio and television. Football has always been his number one passion, but has also commentated and written on a number of other sports including golf, cricket, tennis and rugby.
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