Phil Mickelson's double bogey at Winged Foot on Sunday that cost him the U.S. Open will go down as one of golf's biggest meltdowns, as Lefty frittered away a chance to win his third consecutive major. SI.com takes a look at some other notable sports collapses.
2 of 13Damian Strohmeyer/SI
New York Yankees
Three outs away from sweeping the Boston Red Sox and advancing to the World Series, the Yankees lost 6-4 in 12 innings and proceeded to become the first team in baseball history to blow a best-of-seven series after leading 3-0.
3 of 13John Biever/SI
The world's top-ranked golfer owned a six-shot lead going into the final day at Augusta. But in a round that would unfortunately define his career, the Shark carded five bogeys and two double bogeys for a six-over 78, with Nick Faldo shooting 67 to win by five shots. "I made a lot of mistakes today," Norman said in his mea culpa afterward. "I put all the blame on myself. You pay the price. That's all there is to it."
4 of 13John Biever/SI
Leading 3-0 and just five outs away from going to their first World Series in 58 years, the Cubs suffered a stroke of bad luck when Steve Bartman grabbed a foul ball off the bat of Luis Castillo before Moises Alou could catch it. Castillo drew a walk, and the Florida Marlins scored eight runs in the inning and went on to win Game 6 and later the series.
5 of 13David Cannon/Getty Images
Jean Van de Velde
He stood on the 18th tee Sunday at Carnoustie with a three-shot lead, hoping -- expecting -- to become the first Frenchman since 1907 to win the Open. But Van de Velde decided not to make the safe play with his approach shot. Instead, in one of the biggest decision-making gaffes in golf history, Van de Velde attacked the green ... and found trouble. He had to make a six-foot putt for triple bogey just to get into a three-man playoff, but there was no redemption, as Paul Lawrie emerged as the winner.
6 of 13AP
Boston Red Sox
If the Red Sox had won Game 7 against the New York Mets, no one would have recalled Bill Buckner's gaffe in Game 6. But they didn't, so the image of the first baseman allowing Mookie Wilson's squibber to dribble through his legs as Ray Knight ran home with the winning run will forever be remembered. Boston had been up a pair of runs and were a strike away from winning the World Series before the collapse.
7 of 13John Biever/SI
On Jan. 3, in an AFC wild-card playoff, the Houston Oilers blew a 35-3 third-quarter lead to the Buffalo Bills and lost 41-38 on Steve Christie's 32-yard field goal in overtime. The greatest comeback in NFL history helped propel the Bills to their third straight Super Bowl.
8 of 13John Iacono/SI
Maybe Red Sox fans shouldn't complain about Bill Buckner. The Angels led 5-4 in the 1986 ALCS and were one strike away from that fateful World Series before Boston's Dave Henderson launched a two-run blast off Donnie Moore. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, California actually loaded the bases after tying it up again, but to no avail. The Angels would lose in extra innings, and drop the remaining two games to the Sox.
9 of 13No Credit
Before the 2004 Yankees, there were the 1942 Red Wings. Up three games to none in the Stanley Cup finals, Detroit was on the brink of sending the Toronto Maple Leafs home. But led by Leafs fourth-liner Don Metz and goalie Turk Broda, the Red Wings completed arguably the greatest comeback in sports history, winning Lord Stanley's Cup.
10 of 13Neil Leifer/SI
The summer of '69 is certainly special to the city of Chicago, but not for the same reasons as musician Bryan Adams. Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins, and Billy Williams steered the Cubs to a massive 8 1/2 lead over St. Louis and a 9 1/2 advantage over the Mets in August, but the Amazin's would steamroll them while Chicago faded in September. The Cubs missed out on the playoffs by eight games.
11 of 13Steve Powell/Getty Images
John McEnroe was in his prime in 1984 (he would go 82-3), but even he couldn't prevent a momentous collapse against Ivan Lendl in the French Open. After jumping out to a swift lead, two sets to none, McEnroe's temper took over as the Czech star dramatically fought back to win in five sets. Ultimately, McEnroe's 39-match winning streak was snapped, and a French Open victory would never be so close.
12 of 13Walter Iooss Jr./SI
The "Phold" of '64 still has Philadelphia waking up in a cold sweat. Up 6 1/2 games in the standings with 12 to go, the Phillies then proceeded to lose 10 straight to relinquish a seemingly insurmountable division lead. If the Cardinals lost on the final day of the season, an unprecedented three-team playoff between St. Louis, the Reds, and the Phillies would have resulted. Of course, the Cards won, and Phillies fans received nightmares as their parting gift.
13 of 13AP
And you thought the U.S. soccer team losing to Ghana was tough. In the 2005 UEFA Champions League final, heavily favored AC Milan led Liverpool F.C. 3-0 at halftime thanks to Paolo Maldini and Hernan Crespo. But Liverpool engineered what some call the greatest comeback in soccer history, returning the favor and then winning on penalty shots, 3-2.
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