Fore King Golf

1987 Larry Mize Wins The Masters


Watch the complete final round and playoff broadcast of the 1987 Masters. Larry Mize wins in dramatic fashion on the second playoff hole, defeating Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman.

The Masters Tournament is a revered event in the world of golf, known for its tradition, prestige, and unforgettable moments.

The 1987 Masters Tournament, the 51st edition of this storied competition, held at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, is etched in history as one of the most memorable and dramatic events in the sport.

Let’s revisit the remarkable journey of local hero Larry Mize, whose incredible shot in a sudden-death playoff against golfing legends Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman forever left its mark on the Masters.

The Showdown

As the sun set on April 12, 1987, the golf world was fixated on Augusta National. The Masters had reached its climax, and the drama that unfolded on the course that day would be etched in the annals of golf history.

Larry Mize, a native of Augusta, was on the cusp of realizing a dream that every golfer aspires to – winning a major championship.

Standing in his way were two giants of the game: Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman.

Norman, known as the “Great White Shark” for his dominating style, had a golden opportunity to clinch the title on the 72nd hole with a 20-foot birdie putt.

A hushed silence fell over the gallery as he lined up the putt.

The outcome of the tournament hung in the balance. Unfortunately for Norman and his fans, the ball narrowly missed its mark, and the tournament was forced into a sudden-death playoff.

The Playoff

The sudden-death playoff began on the par-4 10th hole, where the tension was palpable.

Ballesteros and Norman found themselves on the fringe with challenging approach shots, while Mize’s ball sat safely on the green, below the hole. Ballesteros, a golf legend in his own right, failed to make par and was eliminated from the playoff, leaving the stage to Mize and Norman.

Both Mize and Norman’s tee shots on the par-4 11th hole found the fairway.

However, the green was surrounded by treacherous water hazards, adding an extra layer of complexity to their shots. Mize faced an especially daunting challenge – he was well right of the hole, a daunting 140 feet away.

In a moment that would define his career, Norman played it safe, positioning himself on the right fringe with a 50-foot putt.

He sensed that par might be enough to secure the coveted green jacket.

But Larry Mize had other plans.

With nerves of steel, he executed an incredible chip shot from an improbable distance.

The ball seemed to defy gravity as it soared through the air and dropped into the cup for an astonishing birdie 3.

The crowd erupted in disbelief and jubilation as Mize pulled off the impossible.

Norman, now stunned by Mize’s brilliance, needed to hole his putt to tie the playoff.

However, the golfing gods had spoken, and the ball stayed above ground.

With that, the 1987 Masters Tournament came to a dramatic close, with Larry Mize emerging as the champion.

A Local Hero’s Triumph

Larry Mize’s victory was a storybook ending for the Augusta native.

He became the first, and to this day, the only Masters winner to hail from Augusta itself.

His incredible chip shot and the ensuing celebrations remain etched in golfing lore as one of the most miraculous moments in major championship history.

Steve King of Fore King Golf

Steve King

Steve King is a UK based golf blogger, who shares online golf coaching that he created with his good friend Richard Lawless (PGA Professional)

Steve plays most of his golf in his home county of Wiltshire, in the UK. Read more about Steve