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Home / Journal / The greatest ever golf upsets

The greatest ever golf upsets

Published on 23 November 2018
Ever fancied yourself as a miraculous, Masters-winning amateur? Take a look at these great upsets for inspiration…
The greatest ever golf upsets

As we prepare for what promises to be an intriguing 2019 season, we take a look back at some of the all-time best golfing upsets…

Paul Lawrie, 1999 Open
The 1999 Open Championship has entered golfing folklore as one of the most dramatic finishes ever seen at a major. That fateful Sunday will be forever remembered for little-known Frenchman Jean van de Velde’s dramatic capitulation on the 18th hole. But while van de Velde undoubtedly stole the unwanted headlines, world no. 159 Paul Lawrie came from 10 shots behind to clinch the title in a play-off.

Todd Hamilton, 2004 Open
Despite turning professional in 1987, Todd Hamilton had failed to gain entry to the PGA Tour and instead carved out a career on the Japan Golf Tour. So, when he finally earned his first PGA card in 2003, it seemed unlikely he’d ever win a major. But after a four-hole play-off at Royal Troon against legend Ernie Els, Hamilton sealed the unlikeliest of victories.

Trevor Immelman, 2008 Masters
After having surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumour on his diaphragm and slipping to a lowly 1,673 in the world rankings, not much was expected of Trevor Immelman when he rocked up at Augusta. But the South African quickly became the man to beat as he swept aside the competition to pick up the famous green jacket, out of nowhere.
Golf Upsets

Nick Faldo, 1996 Masters
In a battle between two of the all-time greats, Greg Norman entered Sunday’s final round with an impressive six-shot advantage over Nick Faldo. But in a dramatic turn of events, Australian Norman was behind by the 11th hole as Faldo worked his magic around the famous Augusta course, with the Englishman sealing his triumph with a 5-under 67. Masterful.

Yang Yong-Eun, 2009 PGA Championships
If there was ever a watershed moment in the golfing career of Tiger Woods then it happened here, at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. In an enthralling Sunday of golf, 37-year-old Yang became both the first South Korean and Asian to win a major by out-muscling Woods, who was never quite the same again…