Venue: Carnoustie Golf Links
Location: Angus, Scotland
Date: July 18, 1999
Type of loss: Blunder/blown lead
All Jean Van de Velde had to do to become the first Frenchman since 1907 to win a major golf tournament was double bogey the 18th hole at Carnoustie. What he did instead has gone down in golf history as the most embarrassing loss ever.
The comedy of errors started with an errant drive. Then, his second shot hit the railings of the grandstands and a stone wall and rolled 50 yards backward. His third shot flew into a shallow water hazard.
That’s when things got absurd as Van de Velde decided to hit the shot out of the hazard, removing his socks and shoes and wading into the water before deciding to take the drop.
His next shot went into the bunker, and when he finally got the ball into the hole, it was a triple bogey, sending him to a three-way playoff that he lost.
He never won a major tournament.