1987: Augusta native Larry Mize wins Masters
Call it fate, call it luck, call it anything. Just be sure to call Larry Mize a Masters champion.
The Augusta native was a decided underdog when he found himself in a sudden-death playoff with Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros in 1987. After all, the two international players were among the best in the world. Mize was not very well known outside of his hometown.
But Ballesteros eliminated himself with a 3-putt on the first extra hole, and Mize and Norman headed for the 11th hole.
After both players hit decent drives, Mize missed the green to the right and Norman hit his ball onto the edge of the green.
The long-hitting Australian had a clear advantage.
"It was one of those things where you want to hit that shot, but your mind is saying, 'Don't hit in the water.' I just bailed out. I knew if I hit it left, it was pretty much over," Mize said on the 20th anniversary of his win. "So I blocked it right."
With one flick of the wrists, Mize executed his 140-foot shot perfectly. The ball landed softly, took a couple of bounces and rolled into the cup for an improbable birdie.
The shot set off a wild celebration for Mize and the gallery, and when Norman failed to hole his third shot, the Masters had its first hometown winner.
"I didn't think Larry would get down in two, and I was right," Norman said. "He got down in one."
|7||D. A. Weibring||+1||72||75||71||71||$26,200|