On April 14, 1996, third-round leader Greg Norman loses a six-shot lead in the final round of the Masters golf tournament and finishes second—one of the worst collapses in sports history. Nick Faldo wins the green jacket, finishing five strokes ahead of Norman. “I played like a bunch of [expletive],” the Australian tells reporters afterward. “I just didn’t get the job done.”
In shooting a 78 in the final round, Norman had four bogeys and five double-bogeys. The tournament marked the seventh time in eight major championships that he failed to hold a final-round lead.
Faldo, who shot a final-round 67, embraced Norman after completing his round. “I don’t know what to say to you,” he told him. “I just want to give you a hug.”
Norman’s collapse startled sports fans and sportswriters alike.
“For Greg Norman’s lifetime, for yours, for mine, for eternity, wherever golf is played and remembered, in pro shops, pawn shops, locker rooms, card rooms, bars, churches, in Augusta, Ankara, and Alaska, the 1996 Masters will be recalled simply as the one Greg Norman blew,” wrote Tampa Tribune columnist Tom McEwen.
Wrote David Casstevens of the Arizona Republic of Norman’s final round: “It was like watching a man drown. As Norman headed to Amen Corner, and the most famous stretch of holes in golf, you wanted to throw him a rope, a lifeline. Here, Greg, grab hold.”
Norman won 91 tournaments during his pro career, including two British Opens, but never won a major tournament in the United States.