The Most Masters Runner-up Finishes Without a Green Jacket: A Fan Looks Back (Yahoo! Contributor Network)
Most every professional golfer has those what-if scenarios that go through their mind from time to time. What if I had made that putt? What if I had hit that fairway and been able to go for the green in two? What if that approach shot had been better? All these questions come to mind and they wonder if, given the right break, they could have won that big tournament. Sadly, mulligans are only for weekend golfers.
Then there are the guys that are running over scenarios in their mind that prevented them from winning major championships. You have to especially feel for the player who could never get over the hump at that one specific major. Many people like to talk about the fact that Sam Snead could never win the United States Open. The same could be said of Phil Mickelson. Then there is Greg Norman at the Masters.
Many are familiar with Norman's Masters meltdowns. Norman finished in second place three times during his career at the Masters. However, Norman does not have the most runner-up finishes without winning the Green Jacket. That somewhat dubious honor belongs to Tom Weiskopf.
Tom Weiskopf finished tied for second four times at the Masters yet never claimed the title. In 1969 he lost to George Archer. In 1974 Weiskopf was defeated by Gary Player. In 1972 and 1975 Weiskopf finished second to Jack Nicklaus. Three of the four times Weiskopf was bested by one of golf's all-time greats. There is nothing to be ashamed of when finishing second to Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player. Many golfers of that era looked up at the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon and saw the names Player and Nicklaus ahead of them.
Years later, in an article for Golf Digest, Weiskopf recalled the 1975 Masters. "I've thought about that 40-foot putt Jack Nicklaus made to beat me at the '75 Masters a thousand times. It went up a slope and broke into the middle of the hole, an absolutely unmakable putt." Rather than chalk it up to luck, Weiskopf attributed the great putt to the "pure skill" of six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus. Of course, Nicklaus also finished in second place four times. I wonder if he ever thinks about that.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.
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