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10 worst collapses in major championships since 2000

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You can sense when a golfer is beginning to build momentum to make a major championship run. Whether it's a clutch shot or a big putt that falls, you can see the switch flick.

On the flip side, we can rarely predict the collapse. The errant drive that ends all hope or the missed short putt that leaves your jaw on the floor always seems unexpected.

Sunday at the U.S. Open was no different.

On the heels of Rory McIlroy letting another major championship title slip through his fingers, let's look at the worst major championship collapses since 2000.

Thomas Bjorn - 2003 Open Championship

Since Jean van de Velde's infamous collapse at Carnoustie - perhaps golf's most-remembered - was in 1999, Thomas Bjorn's meltdown at the 2003 Open Championship kicks off our list.

Bjorn held a three-shot lead with four holes remaining at Royal St. George's before bogeying No. 15 and taking three shots to get out of a pot bunker on No. 16 en route to a double-bogey. He dropped another shot on the 17th, eventually losing to Ben Curtis by a stroke.

Phil Mickelson - 2006 U.S. Open


Searching for three straight major titles, Phil Mickelson stood on the tee needing to make par on the 72nd hole at Winged Foot to win his first U.S. Open.

Mickelson pulled out his driver, missed the fairway well to the left, hit a hospitality tent, and ended up with a challenging second shot. His next shot hit a tree, and his third ended up in a greenside bunker with a fried egg lie. He made a double-bogey and called himself an "idiot" afterward.

Colin Montgomerie - 2006 U.S. Open

Everyone remembers Mickelson's collapse, but few recall Colin Montgomerie's 72nd-hole double-bogey that also made him miss a playoff by a shot.

Montgomerie remains one of the best never to win a major championship, with 54 professional wins and five runner-up results in majors.

Geoff Ogilvy was the beneficiary of both Mickelson and Montgomerie's 72nd-hole blunders.

Dustin Johnson - 2010 PGA Championship

Dustin Johnson needed to par on his final hole at Whistling Straits to win his first major title but failed to get up-and-down. Instead, he was destined for a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson.

However, it was deemed Johnson grounded his club in a bunker on the 72nd hole - which Johnson thought was considered a waste area. After the round, he was assessed a two-stroke penalty to fall out of the playoff.

Rory McIlroy - 2011 Masters

Andrew Redington / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Sunday wasn't the first time McIlroy experienced heartbreak at a major championship. At 21 years old, the Northern Irishman was attempting to become the second youngest to win a green jacket and held a four-shot lead going into the final round.

That cushion was down to one shot on the 10th tee, which McIlroy immediately coughed up with a triple-bogey. He dropped three more shots on the next two holes to fall even further off the pace. McIlroy's chance in 2011 remains his best shot at winning the Masters.

Adam Scott - 2012 Open Championship

Adam Scott held a four-shot lead with four holes to play at Royal Lytham in his quest for a first career major. But it was a slow bleed for the Aussie, who bogeyed each of his final four holes to fall one shot shy of a playoff with Ernie Els.

Scott won the Masters in his second major start following his collapse at The Open.

Dustin Johnson - 2015 U.S. Open

Johnson makes his second appearance on this list courtesy of his blunder at Chambers Bay in 2015.

Johnson needed a 12-foot putt to win his first major, which he missed on the bumpy Chambers Bay greens. He then failed to make the three-foot comebacker to hand Jordan Spieth the trophy.

Jordan Spieth - 2016 Masters

Augusta National / Masters Historic Imagery / Getty

Speaking of Spieth, it's tough to forget his epic meltdown on the 12th hole during the final round of the 2016 Masters.

Looking to win back-to-back green jackets, Spieth led by five as he made the turn. After two bogeys, his edge was down to three before he dumped two balls into Rae's Creek en route to a quadruple-bogey. Spieth wound up three shots shy of Danny Willett's 5-under winning score.

Mito Pereira - 2022 PGA Championship

Playing in only his second major championship, Mito Pereira needed to par the 72nd hole at Southern Hills to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy.

The pressure clearly got to him, though: A nervous-looking driver swing sent his ball into a narrow creek right of the fairway that was only in play for the biggest misses. Pereira would make a double to miss out on the playoff between Will Zalatoris and eventual winner Justin Thomas by a shot.

Rory McIlroy - 2024 U.S. Open

And of course, McIlroy's collapse on Sunday.

The four-time major winner was two shots clear of Bryson DeChambeau with six holes left to play. Unfortunately, the putting yips arrived at the worst time, as McIlroy missed his first putt from inside three feet all season on the 16th.

He then lipped out another putt from inside four feet on the 18th hole for his third bogey in four holes to fall one shy of DeChambeau.

While McIlroy's decade-long major championship drought continues, there's some hope for him. The players who suffered three of the four most recent collapses (Scott, Johnson, Spieth) all secured a major victory within their next six major championship starts.

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