Jason Day at centre of 'horrible' drama in final-round meltdown at Masters

The Aussie golfer tumbled down the leaderboard in brutal scenes during the final round at Augusta.

Jason Day, pictured here during a nightmare final round at the Masters.
Jason Day endured a nightmare final round at the Masters. Image: Getty

Jason Day has endured a horror final round at the Masters at Augusta, with a shocking four double-bogies cruelling the Aussie's hopes of a guaranteed return for next year's tournament. Day had been hoping for a top-12 finish on Sunday, which would have punched his ticket back to Augusta in 2024.

But disaster struck on the par-4 ninth hole, as Day wound up with a six that sent him crashing down the leaderboard. The Aussie stroked a brilliant curling putt from 44 feet to three feet, leaving him with a simple putt for par.

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However he pushed his attempt past the hole, and then also missed his attempt at bogey. From a tie for 18th, Day suddenly slumped down the leaderboard to a share of 20th at one-under entering the back nine of his final round.

From there things only got progressively worse, with the Aussie producing three more double-bogeys in his next four holes an absolute nightmare diaplay. Seemingly rattled after the ninth, Day then hooked his drive on the 10th into the trees and had to reload with a penalty shot en route to a second double-bogey.

The car crash continued when Day putted his second shot into the water for another double. He then had to reload again on the par-5 13th after hooking his drive deep into the Georgian pine trees.

He settled briefly with pars on 14 and 15 before dropping another shot on 16 and finishing with an elusive birdie at the last. When he finally added up the damage, the Aussie star signed for an 80 and a tie for 39th.

Through 16 holes he was nine-over for the final round and six-over overall to be tied for 41st. The late birdie got him back to five-over for the tournament.

Day had fought hard in a round of 74 to hold his place in the top-10 after play resumed following the suspension of Saturday's third round. But the par-fives continued to hurt him.

After taking a double-bogey on the 15th on Friday, when he was outright second behind Brooks Koepka at nine-under, Day immediately bogeyed the eighth when play restarted on Saturday to slip back to three-under, where he finished his round. He stayed there until his meltdown on No.9 on Sunday, which opened the floodgates for a staggering fall down the leaderboard.

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It was a torrid final round for Australia's biggest names, with reigning British Open champion Cameron Smith and 2013 winner Adam Scott faring no better. After continuing his third round on the 14th hole at one-under, Smith immediately fell back to even par with a bogey after missing the green and failing to get up and down.

He did well to avoid dropping another shot on the 15th after hitting into the water with his all-or-nothing attempt to find the green for two and land an eagle. But he dropped another shot on the last to post a three-over 75 and enter the final round a dozen strokes behind Koepka.

Smith was unable to make any headway in the delayed final round and was two-over for the championship through 13 holes and 13 adrift of leader Jon Rahm, who went on to win by four shots. Completing his third round alongside Smith, Scott went further backwards after a calamitous 15th hole. He dunked two balls in Rae's Creek en route to a triple-bogey eight, signed for a 77 and started the final round 14 shots off the pace.

Phil Mickelson, pictured here after completing his final round at the Masters.
Phil Mickelson reacts after completing his final round at the Masters. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) (Patrick Smith via Getty Images)

Elsewhere, Phil Mickelson carded a final-round seven-under-par 65 to threaten one of the great steals in golf history. With eight birdies, including five in his last seven holes, the 52-year-old took the clubhouse lead at eight-under, with Rahm two in front heading towards the back nine.

Rahm ended up winning by four shots from Koepka and Mickelson after firing a three-under final round to finish at 12-under. Forty years after his countryman Steve Ballesteros won his second green jacket, and on what would have been Ballesteros' 66th birthday, an inspired Rahm overturned a four-shot deficit when play resumed after Saturday's suspension.

with AAP

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