What's the biggest 54-hole lead lost in PGA Tour history?
PGA Tour

What’s the biggest 54-hole lead lost in PGA Tour history?


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As Webb Simpson enters the final round of the 2018 Players Championship with a seven-shot lead, PGA Tour history tells us there's almost no chance he doesn't walk away from TPC Sawgrass on Sunday without the Waterford crystal trophy.

Why is that? Because no player in PGA Tour history has given up and lost a tournament when he's had a 54-hole lead bigger than six shots.

Dating back into the 1920s -- and, technically, with three of the four majors, back sooner than that -- the biggest 54-hole lead surrendered is six. The last person to lose after carrying a six-shot lead into the final round was Dustin Johnson, who had a half-dozen-stroke advantage going into the last day of the 2017 WGC-HSBC Champions.



Of course, that means someone else won the tournament.

Largest 54-hole leads lost in PGA Tour history (all 6 shots)

  • Bobby Cruickshank, 1928 Florida Open -- The Scot shot a final-round 80 in an event that was part of the precursor to the PGA Tour. We don't know the course where this happened, but the tournament was ultimately won by Henry Ciuci.
  • Gay Brewer, 1969 Danny Thomas-Diplomat Classic -- Brewer, who won the 1967 Masters, had a half-dozen-stroke lead going into the final round of the first and only version of this event at Florida's Diplomat Presidential Country Clubfinished. Brewer shot 72 to finish 2nd, with the event won by Arnold Palmer.
  • Hal Sutton, 1983 Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic -- Sutton was looking to build on his Rookie of the Year campaign in 1982, but he couldn't close the deal on this Sunday. He shot 77 and finished T-3 in the event won by Calvin Peete, who closed with 69. Fortunately for Sutton, he had already won The Players that season and then won the PGA Championship two weeks later.
  • Greg Norman, 1996 Masters Tournament -- Norman appeared to be set to finally slay Augusta National, headed for a coronation in a final-round pairing with Nick Faldo. Of course, that wasn't meant to be. Norman shot 77, and Faldo shot 67 as he captured his sixth-and-final major. Norman finished 2nd, give shots behind Faldo.
  • Sergio Garcia, 2005 Wachovia Championship -- Sergio Garcia was looking toward a cakewalk Sunday at Quail Hollow, but he lost his nerves early. He made a bogey on the 17th hole to drop into a tie for the lead and into a playoff with Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk. Singh eventually won.
  • Spencer Levin, 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open -- Levin appeared ready for a PGA Tour breakthrough at TPC Scottsdale, but he got flustered early and never recovered. His 4-over 75 on Sunday opened the door for Kyle Stanley's first PGA Tour win, getting revenge for surrendering a big lead the week prior at Torrey Pines. Levin finished T-3.
  • Dustin Johnson, 2017 WGC-HSBC Champions -- Dustin Johnson was at the peak of his powers, and he seemed set for another big win. Unfortunately, Johnson lost control early, and Justin Rose seized it. Rose wound up winning by two over Johnson and Henrik Stenson.
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