The Masters: Five biggest final-round comebacks in Augusta history
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 14/04/19 7:32pm
The top six players are separated by just four shots heading into the final round of the Masters, but can someone from further down the leaderboard still win the Green Jacket?
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Francesco Molinari holds a two-shot lead over Tiger Woods and Tony Finau after 54 holes at Augusta National, with Brooks Koepka, Webb Simpson and Ian Poulter making up the chasing pack.
Every Masters winner since 1990 has started the final round inside the top 5 and 23 of the last 30 Augusta champions have come from the final group, but can some buck the trend and claim a comeback victory?
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We look back at the five biggest final-round comebacks at the Masters…
Jack Burke Jr - 1956 (eight strokes)
Burke was one of only two players to shoot an under-par round on the final day as the American mounted the biggest final-round comeback in major history.
Amateur Ken Venturi took a four-shot lead into the final day but posted six bogeys in a seven-hole stretch around the turn, allowing Burke to pull level with two holes to play.
Burke holed a 15-foot birdie at the 17th and then got up and down from the bunker to save par at the last, which would be enough for a one-shot win when Venturi failed to find a final-hole birdie.
Early start for Masters Sunday
The Masters committee have been forced to make significant adjustments to Sunday's final-round tee times.
Gary Player - 1978 (seven shots)
The South African produced a record-equalling final round to snatch a one-shot victory and win the Green Jacket for a third time.
Player started the day in a share of 10th spot and still trailed overnight leader Hubert Green by six shots with 10 holes to play, but birdied the ninth to spark a remarkable back nine.
The 42-year-old birdied six of his next nine holes, including a 15-footer at the last, to the set the clubhouse, as Green missed a three-footer on the par-four 18th to extend the contest.
Sir Nick Faldo - 1996 (six shots)
Faldo put pressure on Greg Norman during a dramatic final day and capitalised on the Australian's Sunday collapse to claim the last of his six major titles.
A five-shot deficit heading into the final round had disappeared by the time the pair reached the par-three 12th, where Norman made double-bogey to give Faldo a two-shot advantage.
The tournament is often remembered for Norman - who also double-bogeyed the 16th - and his final-round collapse, forgetting the fact that Faldo posted a five-under 67 to claim a five-stroke win.
Fuzzy Zoeller - 1979 (six shots)
The 27-year-old stunned the golfing world by claiming the Green Jacket on his Masters debut - the last player to do so - although needed some good fortune to have the chance of victory.
Zoeller posted a final-round 70 to set the clubhouse target at eight under, which was only enough to force a play-off when Ed Sneed bogeyed his final three holes, Jack Nicklaus bogeyed the penultimate hole and Tom Watson slipped up late in his round.
Sneed, Watson and Zoeller all parred the first play-off hole - the 10th - after missing birdie putts, before Zoeller holied an eight-foot birdie putt at the next to claim the title.
Art Wall Jr. - 1959 (six shots)
The American's only major success came in remarkable fashion after a fast finish to his final round helped him to a one-shot win.
Wall started the final round in 1959 six shots behind co-leaders Stan Leonard and Arnold Palmer and saw his hopes appear over after following a front-nine 34 with a three-putt bogey at the 10th.
He made his charge by making two-putt birdies either side of his 20-footer at the 14th, before draining a 15-footer at the 17th and picking up another at the last to end the week on four under.
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