We’ve all got our favourite moments from the rich history of golf’s four majors but plenty of players have also got those nightmare rounds that they would dearly love to forget.
So let’s remind them and us, shall we, with a celebration of some of the worst rounds in the history of the majors.
The Masters – King Charlie’s 95 Nightmare
The Masters’ committee’s loyalty to amateurs and former winners is fraught with danger – as proven by Charlie Kunkle and Billy Casper.
Self-taught amateur Kunkle got into the 1956 Masters, in the days before the cut, and was getting progressively worse with rounds of 78, 82 and 85.
The best (or worst) was yet to come, however, as our man carded 95 on the final day for a final eyewatering score of 340 – a whopping 52 over par. The cut, incidentally and unsurprisingly, was introduced the following year.
Champion of 1970 Casper, meanwhile, totted up a staggering 106 when he played some 35 years later, aged 73, a round that included five trips to the water at the par three 16th. Needless to say, he didn’t put his card in.
The Open Championship – Ayton’s 18 to Forget at Soggy St Andrews
Take a bow Davie Ayton who would go on to register three top-tens at The Open, but not before he had carded a staggering 111 in his opening round of the 1873 event at St Andrews.
Reports tell us the Old Course was pretty much flooded and there were no “preferred lie” rule back then.
Golfing fraud Maurice Flitcroft, now immortalised in film, memorably shot 121 in qualifying for the 1976 Open, a feat which earned him celebrity status – and a lifetime ban from the R&A!
The US Open – Tucker’s Myopia Madness
The honour of being the last man to post 100 at the US Open falls to Walter Ratto at Colonial in 1941, who doubtless sensed it wasn’t going to be his day when his opening shot hit a tree and rebounded behind him.
But that’s not even close to the lowest round at the major which prides itself on being the toughest of them all.
No, the daddy of them all was a JD Tucker whose first round around Myopia (you couldn’t make it up) took 157 shots, a record that will never be beaten.
USPGA – Watney Off Strait
Disasters in the fourth major, the US PGA, are few and far between since the event only became a strokeplay contest from 1958.
Greg Norman’s last-day demise to hand Bob Tway the laurels in 1986 will long be remembered, though was trumped by Nick Watney’s remarkable collapse at Whistling Straits.
Watney had a two-stroke lead going into the final round, saw that disappear after the first hole with a double bogey, and finished up signing for an 81, not even making the top ten.