Playoff drama: Going the extra distance at AugustaMarch 29, 2017 History
Augusta produces extra-hole drama like no other major. We recall four special episodes from past years.
2013: Go Aussies
For the second year running the 10th, Camellia, proved to be the final stop. Previously Bubba Watson had extricated himself from a spot which was off bounds even as a walkway, last year Adam Scott made birdie – which had never happened before in a play-off.
This was the 16th win in a play-off in 77 stagings of the Masters. Prior to 1976 these were 18-hole affairs except for 1935 – the year Gene Sarazan made an albatross at the 15th – which was 36. Of the six 18 or 36-hole play-offs none were tied at the end of the round. The sudden-death play-off was adopted in 1976.
“Ben Hogan is the only man to have lost two Masters play-offs”
Interestingly none of the 10 sudden-death playoffs since has advanced past the second hole; three were decided at the first and seven at the next. Only one player, Ben Hogan, has twice gone beyond the 72 holes and then lost, in 1942 and 1954.
And then there was the play-off that sadly never happened. In 1968 Bob Goalby tied Roberto DeVicenzo but, instead of marking down a birdie three for DeVicenzo at the 17th, playing partner Tommy Aaron wrote four. DeVicenzo missed the mistake and Goalby was the champion.
1987: Mize stuns two icons
First there was the disconsolate figure of Seve and his brother trudging back up the hill at the 10th after three putts had signalled the Spaniard’s exit.
Then Mize, who had worked on the scoreboards as a youth, hit a chip that bounced twice before the green before making its way to the hole.
“It was certainly the best shot I’ve ever hit – how could you beat that?” said Mize. I was elated and, as everyone saw, my caddy and I got very excited.”
1962: Arnie chalks up No.3
Of Palmer’s four Green Jackets only this one came in extra holes.
Five over in his final round having led into the final day, he chipped in at 16 and birdied 17 to force a Monday play-off. Birdies at 10, 12, 13 and 14 put him four shots ahead and safe.
Coming into the week Palmer was struggling with an ear infection. Despite hating hats, he wore a white cap. After a three putt at the very 1st hole of the week the cap came off and never returned.
1979: Fuzzy’s dream debut
The Masters’ first sudden-death playoff and one of four to finish at the 11th. Ed Sneed dropped shots at the last three having begun the final round five ahead.
Sneed, debutant Fuzzy Zoeller and Tom Watson all parred the 10th. Zoeller had relied on his veteran caddy, Jerry Beard, all week. At the 11th, Beard wanted his man to hit a 9. Zoeller replied: ‘I knock an 8-iron down better than any player in the world.’
Zoeller hit the 8 to 10 feet and knocked in the putt for the first of two Major victories.