We've witnessed some weird and wonderful finishes to many a golf tournament over the years. Martin Kaymer has not been the same since leading the Abi Dhabi Championship by ten strokes during the final round in 2015 before eventually finishing third and we've seen a couple of strange endings on the DP World Tour this year alone.
Richie Ramsay (matched at a low of 1.42/5) and Sebastian Soderberg (1.071/14) will both feel they should have won the British Masters instead of Thorbjorn Olesen in early May and anyone that backed Ryan Fox at the Dutch Open a few weeks later, where he led by three with a hole to play before losing a playoff to Victor Perez, who holed a ridiculous footage of putts, will feel extremely aggrieved unless they layed their wagers back at short odds. Fox was matched at a low of 1.021/50.
Nerves come in to play in all tournaments but especially so in majors and we've seen plenty of late collapses over the years.
Doug Sanders' missed putt at the last at St Andrews in 1970 is a part of Open Championship history, as is Jean van de Velde's collapse at Carnoustie in 1999.
Just two months after blowing a four-stroke lead in the US Open at Pebble Beach, Dustin Johnson suffered heartbreak at Whistling Straits in the 2010 US PGA Championship when he was given a two-stroke penalty on the 72nd hole for grounding his club in a bunker that he assumed was a waste area and he then three putted from 13 feet at Chambers Bay to lose the 2015 US Open before finally winning his first major 12 months later.
I have particularly painful memories of the 2006 US Open, where Phil Mickelson messed up the 72nd hole, having been matched at 1.061/18 (Colin Montgomerie was matched at 1.341/3), and Greg Norman famously lost a six-stroke lead at the US Masters in 1986 but arguably the worst collapse at a major championship in the modern era occurred at Augusta in 2016, when Danny Willett benefited from an incredible failure on the back-nine by the defending champion, Jordan Spieth.
I looked back on that remarkable renewal in detail during lockdown here and it really was one of the most astonishing endings to a golf tournament that I've ever seen but last week's finish to the Fortinet Championship may just have eclipsed it. And ironically, the man to benefit at Augusta six years ago, Willett, was the man to suffer in California on Sunday...
The defending champion and pre-event 18.5 favourite, Max Homa, had been matched at odds-on as early as Friday but deep into the back-nine on Sunday he still hadn't shaken off pre-tournament 270.0269/1 chance, Willett, who was matched at a high of 370.0369/1 before the off.
After the 54-hole leader, pre-event 370.0369/1 shot, Justin Lower, who was matched at a low of 3.953/1, had fallen away, and Homa had made three birdies in-a-row around the turn, he and Willett were tied at the top with seven to play and it looked like advantage Homa after Willett's wild drive on 14th, until the Englishman performed this minor miracle to edge ahead.
After his remarkable birdie at 14, Willett maintained his lead, saving par at 17 from ten feet to take a one-stroke lead into the 72nd hole and after both men had played three strokes on the par five 18th hole, victory looked assured for Englishman.
More than £14k was matched on Willett at 1.011/100 and someone managed to get £2 matched on Homa at 1000.0999/1.
Left of the green and 32 feet from the pin after a poor bunker shot with his third, Homa looked well and truly cooked. The defending champ trailed by a stroke and Willett had less than four feet for his birdie four but then this happened...
I can think of a few 72nd hole collapses. James Kingston at the 2005 Hong Open stands out personally as a painful memory and Ernie Els made a complete hash of the par five 18th when clear at the Alfred Dunhill at Leopard Creek in 2007 but I can't recall a more dramatic turnaround in such a short space of time than Sunday. It truly was an incredible finale, and one Willett may take time to recover from.
Over on the DP world Tour, as is so often the case there, two men traded at odds-on without winning.
The pre-event favourite, Rory McIlroy, who was well backed from 6.611/2 to 4.77/2 before the off, hit a low of 1.84/5 in-running but he put himself under pressure on Sunday by double-bogeying the opening hole.
Having begun the final round trailing the 54-hole leader, pre-event 12.011/1 second favourite, Matthew Fitzpatrick, by three strokes, and trading at 30.029/1, the pre-event 60.059/1 chance, Robert MacIntyre, started round four brilliantly, shooting a quite brilliant six-under-par 29 on the front-nine.
McIntyre looked the most likely winner after back to back birdies at 12 and 13 and he was matched at just 1.664/6 but just as he looked like pulling away from the field he bogeyed 14 and 15 to open the door.
Pre-tournament 75.074/1 chance, Victor Perez, was matched at a low of 3.412/5 but after a slow and steady start to round four, with ten straight pars, Fitzpatrick threw his hat back in the ring with a birdie at 11 and an eagle at 12.
Another birdie followed at the 16th and standing on the 17th tee, the only man in the field without a dropped shot on Sunday, Fitzpatrick was matched at a low of 1.564/7 but he hit an awful tee-shot to record a bogey four and after he'd birdied the last to tie MacIntyre, we were into extra time.
Understandably, the market made Fitzpatrick the 1.748/11 favourite before the playoff with MacIntyre trading at around 2.3811/8 but the Englishman hit a poor drive which put him under pressure and he could only record a par five.
MacIntyre went favourite after that and having birdied the hole on all our four occasions in regulation play, he did so again in extra time to win his second DP World Tour title, almost two years after his first - the only once staged Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown.
The DP World Tour moves onto Paris this week for the Open de France, and I'll be back later today with my preview and for match play fans, we've also got the Presidents Cup this week, and Dave Tindall will be along at some stage with a detailed look at that event.
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