It is officially Masters Week! This is one of the greatest weeks in sports. We have the NCAA
National Championship game (starts the week off right), baseball is starting (yay?), and its
MASTERS WEEK! When I hear Jim Nantz says those famous words, “The Masters. A tradition
unlike any other,” I get goose bumps. Every time. In honor of it being the greatest week in
sports, I thought it would only be appropriate to countdown the 5 greatest shots at Augusta
National. Now, let me clarify this, these are the top 5 greatest shots I have seen personally. I
will not be using any shots by Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, or Arnold Palmer because I did not actually see them.
Tiger Woods – 2005 Masters. Hole 16. Chip in off the fringe for a Birdie.
Tiger Tiger Woods Y’all! Whenever I think of the Masters, this is the shot that always comes to mind. Tiger was in a battle with Chris DiMarco all day, both played well, but DiMarco was in close, and tiger decided to step on the throat and seal the deal! The difficulty of this shot is incredibly hard to describe. I have never played Augusta National (yet at least, shout out to Augusta National) but I have heard the pros talk about how angulated the course is and it does not show on TV. Look at how far up he played this ball, he doubled the length of the shot to use the slope, and it went into the hole! This is one of the greatest things that had ever happened or Nike. The way the ball stopped with that famous “swoosh” right before going into the hole was marketing gold for the company. Oh and this was at the time when Tiger Woods was the Tiger Woods we all knew. Basically when he tee’d it up, everyone thought he would win. He ended up going on to win the Masters that year for the second year in a row. Only three people have done the Back to Back Masters wins, and Tiger Woods is one of them. The reaction of the shot going in the cup was nothing short of sensational. He knew right then and there, even though he had 2 holes to play, that he was going to win the Masters. The ‘Tiger Effect’ was in full force at that time, and other players got scared when they saw Tiger do these types of things tournament after tournament. I love this shot, and I love the Masters. I hope we get to see more of that Tiger magic this week, and see him compete until the 72nd hole on Sunday!
Phil Mickelson – 2010 Masters. Hole 13. Shot from the Pine Straw for an Eagle.
Phil. The. Thrill! Now, I will be the first person to say that I am not a Phil guy. I am a Tiger guy
100 times out of 100, but this shot, incredible. I respect the hell out of Phil for his creativity
around the golf course. He can pull of shots that nobody else can. The windows that he sees
around a golf course and how it dissects all of his options to put up a good score is an amazing
thing. With that being said, this was the greatest shot of his career, and that is saying
something. I bet if you were to compile the top 10 most difficult golf shots ever, he would hold
4 or 5 of them, and this one, would be his favorite. The margin of error he had to accomplish
this shot was so slim, AND he was still in the lead of the tournament! If he doesn’t pull off this
shot, he is no longer in the lead, and momentum could have shifted big time! Phil is never
someone to layup and take a par, he always goes for it. This is the PERFECT example of Phil
Mickelson. He could have easily laid up out of the pine straw and save birdie to keep the lead,
but he saw something nobody else saw, and hit the greatest shot of his life! He put it within 8
feet from the hole on the most memorable hole of Amen Corner at Augusta. Simply
remarkable. He would eventually go on to win the tournament that year, and this shot is still
being played for build up to the Masters, and it will be for a very long time. He won his 3 rd green
jacket that week, and this shot was one of the greatest you will ever see in any tournament.
Bubba Watson – 2012 Masters. Hole 10. Snap Hook from the Pine Straw setting up the win.
I still don’t understand how this happened. After watching this in 2012 at my buddies place in
Iowa, we both stood up and asked, “was that real? Did that really happen?” And I still have no
answer. He snap hooked a 52-degree gap wedge 45 yards and stick it on the green to give him
his first green jacket. This shot was simply amazing. There is no other way to describe it. Not
many people have the vision to even try that shot, let alone in a sudden death playoff hole to
potentially win the Masters. Two people come in mind when it comes to that creativity, one is
Tiger Woods, and the other is Phil Mickelson. But Bubba decided to put himself in that
category of greatness and he did. When you see the introduction of the Masters each year, this
shot will be on there. This is arguably one of the top 5 greatest golf shots of ALL time, not just
the Masters! Bubba was dead in the water after tee shot and to try this, he had to hit a
PERFECT shot, and boy did he ever. There was literally only one thing he could do to put that on
the green, and he did it. Every other option would have been to layup, chip close, and save par.
NAH, screw that. Put a beat down on Louie and hit one of the greatest shots in Masters history
for the win! Hell of a shot. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you see Bubba at the top of the
leaderboard this weekend, he is playing lights out right now!
Larry Mize – 1987 Masters. Hole 11. Chip in Birdie for the Win.
This was one of those shots will go down in history forever at the Masters! I was a wee little
baby at the time this happened, but my uncle always tells me how he was holding me in his
hands when this happened, so I technically saw it. Although my memory of it wasn’t great, I
have watched this shot over 100 times since I have been born. Larry Mize NEEDED to make this
shot. He hit a poor second shot that left him short of the green on 11 and had Greg Norman in
there closer than him, so he had to at least put some pressure on the Aussie. It would have
been a very long putt, but it was a two putt for sure. Larry Mize decided to end it on the 2nd hole
of the Sudden Death match between him and Greg Norman, already eliminating Seve
Ballesteros on hole 10. Greg Norman was the favorite to win at the time, hadn’t won at the
masters, and Larry Mize was an Augusta native, and it was meant to be. Hell of a shot. Hell of a
Louie Oosthuizen – 2012 Masters. Hole #2, Albatross.
I remember watching this and was in AWE. That Sunday pin location is so great because the
players know that they can put the ball on the front of the green and it will funnel down every
time! If they don’t have the right spot, it’s going to be a tough putt, and Louie decided to keep
the putter in the bag and hit his first Albatross at Augusta. He was in
contention that week too. He finished 2nd to Bubba Watson in a playoff and started
his day out hot with that shot. I do not know if we will see that type of shot this week, but I sure
hope that we get the same excitement!