Largest Final-Round Comebacks in PGA Tour History

Any win is special, and come-from-behind wins are probably even more special to those golfers good enough (and lucky enough) to pull one off. But what are the biggest, final-round comeback wins in PGA Tour history?

The all-time biggest was 10 strokes, but there is also a 9-stroke comeback win and multiple 8-shot come-from-behind victories on the list below. In most cases, in comeback wins of that magnitude, it's not just a case of the trailing golfer needing to shoot a low score. The golfer(s) ahead of the comeback golfer need to provide a little (or a lot) of help, too.

The Record: 10 Strokes, Paul Lawrie

The largest, final-round, come-from-behind victory in PGA Tour history happened in a major championship that is more famous for the other guy's collapse. The major is the 1999 British Open. The "other guy," the leader after the third round, was Jean Van de Velde. The guy who came from behind over the final 18 holes to win was Paul Lawrie.

Van de Velde began the final round with a 5-stroke lead over the golfers in second place. Lawrie, though, was farther back — 10 strokes behind Van de Velde in a tie for 14th place. Van de Velde was at 213 when the final round started, Lawrie at 223.

But Van de Velde shot 77 that day, including an infamous final-hole meltdown. Lawrie, who finished over an hour before Van de Velde, shot 67, posting the final score of 290. Ultimately there was a three-way tie between Lawrie, Van de Velde and Justin Leonard. That trio advanced into a four-hole, aggregate-score playoff, which Lawrie, to finish off his comeback, won.

The List: Biggest PGA Tour Comebacks to Win in Final Round

10 strokes — Paul Lawrie, 1999 British Championship. Lawrie started the final round 10 behind leader Jean Van de Velde; shot 67 to Van de Velde's 77, then won the playoff.

9 strokes — Stewart Cink, 2004 MCI Heritage. Cink was nine strokes behind Ted Purdy at the start of the final round, then shot 64 to Purdy's 73. Cink then won a playoff. This is the largest non-major come-from-behind win in PGA Tour history, and also the biggest that happened in the U.S.

8 strokes — Justin Rose, 2018 WGC HSBC Champions. Third-round leader was Dustin Johnson. Rose shot 67, Johnson 77, and Rose won by two.

8 strokes — Kyle Stanley, 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Third-round leader Spencer Levin shot 75, Stanley shot 65 and won by a stroke over runner-up Ben Crane (Levin finished third). Just one week earlier, Stanley had triple-bogeyed the final hole to lose the Farmers Insurance Open.

8 strokes — Craig Stadler, 2003 B.C. Open. Stadler had a 63 in the final round to catch and pass third-round leader Steve Lowery (72) and win by one.

8 strokes — Scott Simpson, 1998 Buick Invitational. The tournament was 54 holes due to bad weather. Simpson was eight back of Steve Pate when the third (final) round began, then shot 64 to Pate's 74. Simpson defeated Skip Kendall in a playoff.

8 strokes — Chip Beck, 1990 Buick Open. Hale Irwin was the third-round leader. Beck shot 65 in the final round, Irwin 74, and Beck won by a stroke.

8 strokes — Hal Sutton, 1985 St. Jude Memphis Classic. Sutton began the final day in 28th place behind leader George Burns. But he shot 65 to Burns' 76, then beat David Ogrin in a playoff to win.

8 strokes — Mark Lye, 1983 Bank of Boston Classic. John Mahaffey was the third-round leader. Lye had a final-round 64, Mahaffey a 73.

8 strokes — Ken Venturi, 1959 Los Angeles Open. Art Wall was the third-round leader. In the final round, Venturi carded a 63 and Wall a 73; Venturi won by a stroke.

8 strokes — Jack Burke Jr., 1956 Masters Tournament. Venturi, still an amateur at this time, lead by four after 54 holes, but was eight strokes ahead of Burke, who was tied for fourth. But in the final round, Burke shot 71 and Venturi 80, giving Burke the one-stroke victory.

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