1996 Masters: Faldo Over Norman

Greg Norman's painful-to-watch collapse at the 1996 Masters opened the door for Nick Faldo, who played a great final round for the victory. This was the 60th time The Masters Tournament was played.

Winner: Nick Faldo, 276

Where it was played: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia

Tournament dates: April 11-14, 1996

Leader after first round: Greg Norman, 63

Leader after second round: Greg Norman, 132

Leader after third round: Greg Norman, 203

What Happened in the 1996 Masters

Through many of the previous 15 Masters, Greg Norman seemed primed to win. He finished second in both 1986 and 1987, and had seven Top 6 finishes from 1981 through 1995. Would this finally be his year?

Norman opened by tying the then-18-hole record for major championships of 63, just the second 63 recorded in The Masters, and led by two. After the second round he led by four, and the lead was six following the third round.

Norman began the final round at 13-under, Faldo at 7-under. Norman bogeyed the first hole, dropping his lead to five, but rebounded with a birdie at No. 2. Then he bogeyed No. 4 and No. 9 and stood at 11-under after the front nine. Faldo, meanwhile, was catching up: He also birdied No. 2, gave one back on the fifth, then birdied Nos. 6 and 8.

That meant that as the two golfers made the turn, Norman's six-shot lead at the start of the round was down to just two.

But things quickly got worse for Norman. He bogeyed Nos. 10 and 11, then double-bogeyed the 12th hole. The bogey at 11 gave Faldo a share of the lead, the double on the 12th put Faldo two strokes in front. Norman made birdies on the 13th and 15th, but so did Faldo. Norman's hopes ended with another double-bogey on the 16th. (He hit his tee ball into water on both the 12th and 16th holes.)

At the end of the final round, Faldo had scored 67, Norman 78. Norman's six-shot lead to start the round turned into a five-shot win for Faldo. Faldo's 67 was the best score of the final round, while Norman's 78 was one of the worst.

It was a new Masters Tournament record for largest final-round collapse, and Faldo's six-shot come-from-behind win, while not a record, was one of the largest in tournament history. Norman's six-shot collapse also tied the overall PGA Tour record for largest 54-hole lead lost.

Norman never did win The Masters. For Faldo, it was his third Masters victory, and his sixth and final win in a major championship.

Phil Mickelson finished third, the highest finish in a major to this point in his career. (He first played in a major in 1990 and went on to win The Masters three times.) Tiger Woods, a 20-year-old amateur, missed the cut. But just a year later he won the 1997 Masters by 12 strokes.

1996 Masters Final Scores

Nick Faldo 69-67-73-67—276
Greg Norman 63-69-71-78—281
Phil Mickelson 65-73-72-72—282
Frank Nobilo 71-71-72-69—283
Scott Hoch 67-73-73-71—284
Duffy Waldorf 72-71-69-72—284
Davis Love III 72-71-74-68—285
Jeff Maggert 71-73-72-69—285
Corey Pavin 75-66-73-71—285
Scott McCarron 70-70-72-74—286
David Frost 70-68-74-74—286
Bob Tway 67-72-76-72—287
Lee Janzen 68-71-75-73—287
Ernie Els 71-71-72-73—287
Fred Couples 78-68-71-71—288
Mark Calcavecchia 71-73-71-73—288
John Huston 71-71-71-76—289
Paul Azinger 70-74-76-70—290
Mark O'Meara 72-71-75-72—290
Tom Lehman 75-70-72-73—290
Nick Price 71-75-70-74—290
David Duval 73-72-69-76—290
Larry Mize 75-71-77-68—291
Loren Roberts 71-73-72-75—291
Raymond Floyd 70-74-77-71—292
Brad Faxon 69-77-72-74—292
Bob Estes 71-71-79-72—293
Justin Leonard 72-74-75-72—293
Jim Furyk 75-70-78-71—294
Jim Gallagher Jr. 70-76-77-71—294
Hale Irwin 74-71-77-72—294
Scott Simpson 69-76-76-73—294
Craig Stadler 73-72-71-78—294
John Daly 71-74-71-78—294
Ian Woosnam 72-69-73-80—294
Fred Funk 71-72-76-76—295
Jay Haas 70-73-75-77—295
Bernhard Langer 75-70-72-78—295
Colin Montgomerie 72-74-75-75—296
Vijay Singh 69-71-74-82—296
Steve Lowery 71-74-75-77—297
Jack Nicklaus 70-73-76-78—297
Seve Ballesteros 73-73-77-76—299
Alexander Cejka 73-71-78-80—302

Previous and next:
1995 Masters - 1997 Masters

Augusta.com. "Historic Leaderboard: 1996 Masters," https://www.augusta.com/masters/historic/leaderboards/1996
Augusta National Golf Club. Masters 2024 Media Guide, "1996 Masters Tournament"
Brenner, Morgan. The Majors of Golf (commissions earned), Volume 2, 2009, McFarland and Company.
PGA.com. "Largest 54-hole lead lost in PGA Tour golf history," https://www.pga.com/archive/news/golf-buzz/largest-54-hole-lead-lost-in-pga-tour-history

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