The 8 worst sporting nightmares

Englishman Danny Willett shot a superb final-round 67 to win the green jacket, but the story of the 2016 Masters will always be Jordan's Spieth's astonishing meltdown.

Spieth was five shots clear with the back nine to play. He had just made four birdies in a row. It looked all over. Instead we got one of the most dramatic examples yet of the old saying the Masters doesn't truly begin until the back nine on Sunday.

Spieth bogeyed the 10th, the 11th and then put two balls in the water at the 12th to run up a quadruple bogey seven. The defending champion had never had a seven before in a major and now he had one on a par three.

Those three holes will be the defining episode in this 80th edition but enormous credit must be given to Willett for chasing him down with a round that had clear echoes of the last British success, that unforgettable epic between Sir Nick Faldo and Greg Norman in 1996.

Here, the Herald takes a look at 8 of the worst sporting nightmares in history.

John Terry - Manchester United vs Chelsea, 2008 Champions League final

Captain, Leader, Legend John Terry had the chance to win Chelsea's first-ever European Cup against one of their domestic rivals in 2008. After Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty shootout miss earlier for Manchester United, the responsibility of creating Chelsea history fell on their iconic defender Terry in the pouring rain of Moscow.

With just Edwin van der Sar to beat from 12 yards, Terry unfortunately slipped as he made contact with the ball before seeing it cannon back off the right-hand post.

United eventually went on to win the shootout 6-5.

Northern Iowa (basketball):

Great comeback or even greater choke. Texas A & M were lauded for their amazing comeback, after trailing by 12 with 44 seconds remaining in the college basketball clash this week. The Panthers gave up four turnovers in five possessions, giving their opponents a giant helping hand.

Jana Novotna 1993 Wimbledon final

The Czech says she can hardly remember the 1993 Wimbledon final, when she led German powerhouse Steffi Graf 4 - 1 and 40 - 30 in the final set. A series of horrible misses and defeat ensued.

South Africa - 1999 semifinal (cricket):

The World Cup choking specialists conjured up a last-over farce in the 1999 semifinal against Australia at Edgbaston. With one run needed for victory, batsmen Allan Donald and Lance Klusener ended up at the same end, Donald even dropped his bat, and Australia went on to win the cup.

Jean van de Velde - 1999 Open

With this year's Masters currently underway, the current field of golfers will be hoping to avoid the fate of Jean van de Velde.

At the 1999 Open in Carnoustie, the Frenchman inexplicably threw away the chance to win the Claret Jug on the final hole. With a three-shot lead going into the 18th hole, Van de Velde ended up making a triple-bogey seven that included a water hazard.

That nightmare hole dropped him into a three-way play-off with Justin Leonard and Paul Lawrie, as the latter came out the winner. That was the closest Van de Velde ever came to winning a major.

Liverpool - 3-3 vs Crystal Palace, 2013-14 Premier League

Referred to as 'Crystanbul' Crystal Palace's home clash against Liverpool will forever go down in the annals of Premier League history as one of the great games.

Leading 3-0 with just 11 minutes remaining, Liverpool's quest to win their first league title since 1990 was still on course, despite their 2-0 defeat by Chelsea. However a Damian Delaney strike and a brace from Dwight Gayle saw a barnstorming comeback by Palace to earn a 3-3 draw.

Cue tears from Luis Suarez at full-time as Brendan Rodgers' side handed the advantage firmly to eventual league champions Manchester City going into the final day.

Usain Bolt - 100m final, 2011 World Championships

The one blotch on Usain Bolt's almost-impregnable career as the world's finest-ever sprinter.

The Jamaican was the overwhelming favourite for gold at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu. However, Bolt never completed the race after being disqualified for a false start. He burst from his blocks in lane five but within a couple of strides was tearing off his vest in fury, roaring his frustration as he realised the enormity of his error.

Lewis Hamilton - 2007 Chinese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton was on the cusp of F1 immortality as the first-ever driver to become world champion in his rookie season. Sitting in second place the Chinese Grand Prix, Hamilton prepared to come into the pits to change his tires as conditions changed at the Shanghai International Circuit.

However, as he entered the pit lane with his tyres worn down to the canvas, he failed to negotiate the sharp left-hander into the pits, beaching his car in the gravel. Despite marshal's efforts to get him back into the race, he suffered the first retirement of his career. The McLaren driver eventually lost the title to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonnen.

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