So like the majority of others I was watching the replay of last year's Masters because what the hell else was there to do. Obviously most people were talking about Tiger, because Tiger is the best. However, I was in a group text that started debating the other side. Has there ever been a bigger shift in someone's career or has anyone fallen off quicker than Francesco Molinari because of that 12th hole? Rule out any injury or freak thing like that. We're talking strictly due to a fuck up on the course, court, field, etc.
Think about where Molinari was heading into that 12th hole on Sunday. He was the reigning Open Championship winner. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March 2019. In September 2018 he was the first ever player to go 5-0-0 in the Ryder Cup, including a singles win over Phil. He was arguably the best golfer in the world at the time, if not playing the best consistently. Yes, I know you could argue someone like Brooks 'Blake' Koepka and his major wins, hence the word arguably.
He entered last year's final round, 2 shots clear. Granted everything about last year's final round was weird with the 3 groups and bad weather, etc. It also led to that 12th hole. I still can't believe Molinari ended up in Rae's Creek. It looks flushed off the club plus Molinari just didn't make mistakes at the time. Instead the wind gusted, lands short and rolls back in.
Since then on the PGA Tour? No wins. Only twice has he finished top-20 since then. He missed the cut at the Heritage, his first tournament after the Masters. He's looked like a shell of himself from 2018-the first three rounds at the Masters. I don't know if I've ever seen anything like that where there was no injury.
What else would even be in contention? Chris Davis being unable to make contact with a ball because of his Adderall being deemed illegal? Any running back when they get to 30? Shit, maybe Jordan Spieth? But the fact is this was on my mind for way too long yesterday. For my money, unless I'm forgetting someone, Molinari is the leader in the clubhouse for this. Granted, he still has plenty of time left in his career to change this around and we may never talk about this again, but right now, with no events being played? He's fallen off as the guy who was unflappable to having the yips.