Countdown to the Masters 2011 - Day 43: Mize wins 1987 play-off and chip-in


Welcome to Day 43 of the Today's Golfer Countdown to The Masters 2011. Every day from February 17th until the big day when the season's first Major tees off, April 7th, we will be bringing you some of our favourite memorable moments from The Masters since the tournament started in 1934.

Over the years, Greg Norman has found many ways to lose major championships, but even by his standards the final denouement in 1987 was a bitter pill for him to swallow.

Seemingly out of the hole at the second playoff hole, the 11th  (Seve had three-putted and bogeyed the first playoff hole, the 10th, and was on his lonely way, back to the clubhouse) local boy Larry Mize addressed a chip, some 140 feet from the hole. His ball pitched twice on the grassy bank, once on the green, and then rolled right across the putting surface, and into the hole.

I didn’t think Larry would get down in two,” said Norman afterwards, in a grimace. “And I was right. He got down in one. This is probably the toughest loss I’ve had. I think I’m more disappointed now than in any tournament I’ve played.”

Mize was a hugely popular winner of course, being a local boy. He was born in Augusta, and played his junior golf at Augusta Country Club, which is just next door to the National. At the age of 14, he had worked on the scoreboard on the 3rd hole during the Masters.

He was asked afterwards if he was trying to hole his famous chip or just trying to get it close. “Both,” he replied. “But when you’re playing somebody like Greg Norman, you can’t be trying to make pars.”