Peter Hanson's tournament-low round of 65 captured the attention of the golf world Saturday, giving him a one-stroke lead after 54 holes at The Masters.
But Hanson shot a 73 in the final round Sunday to finish in a four-way tie for third place, two strokes behind Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen, who went to a playoff.
If Hanson could've held on to the lead, he would have accomplished a rare feat: Following up a missed cut with a major victory.
With 61 putts in two rounds en route to falling two shots below the cut line at the Shell Houston Open last week, Hanson had the second fewest putts through three rounds on Augusta National's tricky greens.
It's pretty uncommon for someone to take home a major right after failing to qualify the previous weekend. That doesn't have to always be a negative -- a missed cut can allow extra time to size up the following week's course or work out issues on the range. But after two subpar rounds, to bounce back and prevail at a marquee tournament isn't easy. These are the last five golfers to miss the cut the week before a major triumph:
Before taking advantage of the tamer Thursday afternoon/Friday morning draw to blitz the field at St. Andrews, the South African missed the cut by a single stroke at the Barclays Scottish Open. In fact, Oosthuizen also withdrew at the Alstom Open de France a week before that, in addition to slamming his trunk on Friday at the Masters, U.S. Open and BMW PGA Championship without ever breaking 70. But he managed to put it all together at the right time on one of golf's grandest stages. Oosthuizen almost won this week, riding his historic albatross at the second hole to a playoff loss to eventual champion Bubba Watson.
Cabrera missed a pair of cuts -- at Bay Hill and Houston -- in the two weeks leading up to his second major victory. His only top 25 finish in 2009 to that point had been a tie for 13th at the Northern Trust Open almost two months earlier. But he snuck into a three-man playoff at Augusta thanks to Kenny Perry's bogeys on 17 and 18, then overcame an errant tee shot to save par on the first extra hole. He won the Green Jacket with a more conventional par a few minutes later. Cabrera ended up in the middle of the pack at this year's Masters, a year after playing in the final group with Rory McIlroy.
A string of uninspiring results, capped off by a missed cut in Houston, preceded Immelman's Masters triumph. Despite no finishes in stroke play events better than 40th, he cruised to an early lead and held off Tiger Woods on Sunday to capture his maiden major title. Immelman has battled injuries and struggled mightily since that week, but he's always played well at Augusta.
Teeing off in the third group Sunday morning, he posted his worst showing here since his win.
Though Weir played poorly at the BellSouth Classic the week before his signature victory, he'd actually enjoyed an excellent start to the season. The Masters was his third win after taking home the trophy at both the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the Nissan Open in February. The Canadian was the only golfer on this list who didn't hold at least a share of the third-round lead when he won his major. He ended up famously beating Len Mattiace in a playoff. This year Weir missed the cut at the Masters, the 20th time in his last 22 events that he's failed to play the weekend.
The late Stewart missed the cut at the FedEx St. Jude Classic a week before winning his third major at Pinehurst No. 2—denying Mickelson, of all people. Stewart had cooled off after a victory and two seconds earlier in the season, with no top 10s in his previous four starts. He had also been on top after 54 holes at the 1998 U.S. Open, but shot a 74 on the last day to finish runner-up to Lee Janzen. With his memorable 15-foot par putt on the final hole at Pinehurst, he avoided a playoff and assured that wouldn't happen again.
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