The Top 6 shots ever played at The Masters
Yep, it’s that time of the year already; The Masters tees up on once again on Thursday. Hopefully, we get to witness something that could go down in history, much like the shots we have listed for you below.
The Masters – the pinnacle of the golfing tour season – was first played 83-years ago in 1935. It is always played at Augusta in Georgia, a par 72 golf course that is currently 7,245 yards in length over all 18 holes.
The player who has played fewest shots by Sunday will win a staggering $2,000,000 (€1,500,000) – a prize fund won by outsider Danny Willet 12 months ago.
But over the last 83-years we have picked out our top six shots out of the million strokes that have been played over this tournament. Do you agree with our top six or have we missed a favourite of yours?
6. Larry Mize
Shot: Mize was third favourite when he entered a play-off in the ’87 Masters against two of the greatest to ever play the sport; Seve Balesteros and Greg Norman. After Seve crashed out for bogeying the first play-off hole, Norman and Mize moved on to the 11th. With Norman safely on the green, Mize had a tricky up and down to complete, if he was to stay in the tournament. But rather than get the ball close, he sunk it from 100-yards through a valley of dips. It should have been difficult to get the ball to stop close to the hole, never mind dive inside it.
5. Jack Nicklaus
Shot: This is the only putt on our list, but boy what a putt. The great Jack Nicklaus lined up this 40-footer, just hoping to leave a tap in to move on. But he did more than that. Arguably the greatest golfer of all time (though our No.1 on this list would like to debate that), Nicklaus rolled the perfectly weighted, perfectly lined putt up the steep hill and right into the centre of the hole. This putt practically won him his fifth green jacket (he ended up with six) and no doubt stapled his name into the history books as the greatest major player of all time. As the live commentator said on US TV: “I think that is one of the greatest putts I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”
4. Phil Mickelson
Shot: If I was to tell you one golf player in the history of the game found himself behind a tree and 150-yards from the green, yet somehow managed to curl the ball around said tree, over a stream at the front of the green and stop four feet from the flag, you’d guess I was talking about Phil Mickelson, right? Of course I am. The most natural golfer I have ever seen took my breath away with this stunning strike during the 2010 Masters tournament, that he incidentally went on to win (his third and so far, final, green jacket). His power, precision and – most importantly – skillset, produced one of the most amazing golf shots of a generation.
3. Louis Oosthuizen
Shot: Second shot of a par 5, 210 yards from the green. Oosthuizen must have been hoping he could reach the putting surface, giving himself an outside chance of an eagle. At worst, he could take a bridie and move on in his quest for a green jacket. Well, he managed more than that. He double eagled, by holing the 210-yard shot. He struck the ball perfectly, landing it where he would have hoped on the front of the green, 30-yards from the hole, hoping a bounce would take the ball on to the left side of the green, allowing the slope to carry the ball close to the flag. He couldn’t have even thought when the ball landed that it would end up in the hole, never mind close. Amazing to watch.
2. Bubba Watson
Shot: In the same tournament as Oosthuizen only one day later, the likeable Bubba Watson some how managed to better the shot everybody had spent 24-hours talking about. Bubba didn’t hole this effort, but that was never a possibility. The American hit his tee shot way right, leaving his ball in the middle of the forest and seemingly giving himself no chance of hitting the green in two. Well, he somehow managed to scrub away the term ‘no chance’ by curling the ball, yes curling the ball, a span of over 45-yards left to right to land it on the putting surface. Finding the green was impossible for a straight-shooter, but Bubba is no straight-shooter. He couldn’t see the green from where he was standing, but his immense ability to hook a ball somehow gave him the opportunity of birdying a hole he looked destined to drop shots on. Just watch how much the ball curls – or hooks – in this video.
1. Tiger Woods
Shot: This is quite simply my favourite golf shot of all time. This wasn’t all about strike and accuracy, this was about all the things that are difficult about a golf shot; pace, reading, accuracy, invention and all-round bravery. Not many would have played this shot, this way. On the fringe of the 16th green Tiger found himself in a spot of bother as he went in search of his fourth Masters win. His ball was only 22-yards from the pin, but he couldn’t aim straight at the hole. It would have been impossible for the ball to stop anywhere near its target. Instead, arguably the greatest player to ever play the sport (though our No.5 on this list would like to debate that), played a sensational line away from the pin, hoping the green’s slope would take it back towards the hole. It did better than that. In almost slow-motion the slope trickled the ball towards the hole, stopping one inch short just to show off the Nike symbol for full marketing effect, before deciding to dive in. Nike’s great marketeers couldn’t have even dreamed this up. A jaw-dropping in the history of the sport.