10. Louis Oosthuizen Double Eagle (2012)
In 2012, Louis Oosthuizen went on an epic Masters run, only to eventually fall short of Bubba Watson. On the second hole of the final round, the young South African pro hit a 253 yard 4 iron that rolled for what seemed like a mile on the putting surface before eventually pouring into the cup. The amazing second shot from the fairway shot marked the first double eagle recorded at the 575 yard par 5. The lucky fan who caught Oosthuizen’s ball, after he tossed it into the crowd in celebration, later made arrangements with Augusta National to return the ball to them for an undisclosed amount.
9. Mickelson’s Birdie on 18 (2004)
Still without a major victory on his resume, Phil Mickelson (age 33) found himself in the position to beat Ernie Els at Augusta and slip on the green jacket for the very first time. Halfway through his final round, Phil carded an amazing pair of eagles over the course of six holes to take the lead. Finally, on the 72nd hole, Phil was starring down the most important 18 foot birdie putt of his young career. After the ball dropped, Mickelson leapt off the ground, throwing both arms in the air to celebrate his first of (currently) five career major tournament wins.
8. Faldo Denies Norman (1996)
In 1996, Nick Faldo handed Greg Norman yet another Masters to have nightmares about. Down six strokes going into the final round, Faldo knew that he had to make a huge move to jump past Norman, who held the lead after each of the first three rounds. Faldo’s late charge combined with Norman’s second career collapse at Augusta was all it took to seal the deal on Nick’s Faldo 3rd green jacket.
7. Tiger Slam (2001)
With shots like the one depicted in the video below, the 26 year old Tiger Woods successfully completed the “Grand Slam” of golf, meaning that he has successfully won the 2001 Masters after being victorious in the previous year’s U.S. Open, the Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. Wood’s accomplishment was something that had not been seen since the legendary days of Nicklaus, Player, and Hogan. It’s safe to say that winning 4 major tournaments in row certainly earns a spot on this list.
6. Sandy Lyle’s Bunker Shot (1988)
In 1988, Sandy Lyle found himself in prime position to win a green jacket after leading the tournament through the second and third rounds. However, Lyle quickly saw his lead melt away in the fourth round when he sent his tee shot on the par-3 12th in water hazard. After climbing back into a tie with Mark Calcavecchia, the pair headed to 18 in what became an epic finish at Augusta. Lyle’s tee shot found a fairway bunker with a daunting front lip. The lie made the shot seem near impossible, but the appropriately named Sandy struck a perfect 7-iron which flew past the pin and sat on the top ledge of the green before rolling back towards the hole, finally resting within 6 feet. Lyle drained the drained the birdie to beat Calcavecchia and win the tournament.
5. Mickelson’s Amazing Shot from Trees (2010)
In 2010, Phil Mickelson won his third Masters in just six years after beating Lee Westwood by three strokes (Westwood still has yet to win a major tournament). On the 13th hole, Mickelson drove his ball into a woody area full of pine straw. He could have chipped out and attacked the pin on his third shot, but instead the crafty lefty decided to go for it. With an enormous tree trunk in front of him, Mickelson needed to draw the ball around the tree, over the water, and hit the green soft. Unbelievably, he did just that…
4. Larry Mize Chip Shot (1987)
In 1987, just one year after the Golden Bear won his 6th Masters, Greg Norman made an attempt to win his first. The Shark had a chance to slam the door shut before Larry Mize dropped a putt that sent him to a 3-way playoff with Norman and Seve Ballesteros. Seve was eliminated after the first playoff hole, and Norman and Mize went on to what became one of the most memorable finishes in Masters history. Norman put his approach shot on the edge of the green, leaving him with a long birdie putt. Meanwhile Mize sat well off the green staring down 140 foot chip shot. Miraculously, Mize holed the birdie chip while Norman simply couldn’t save it to tie.
3. Jack Nicklaus Birdie Putt at 17 (1986)
Dubbed one of greatest Masters victories of all time, 46 year old Nicklaus found himself starring down a crucial birdie putt on the 17th green. The Golden Bear had his son Jackie as his caddie that afternoon to witness his father’s PGA TOUR record 18th major championship. The putt has been highlight by the now famous image of Jack raising his putter as the ball fell into the bottom of the cup, a moment forever burned into golf’s storied history.
2. Tiger’s Chip Shot on 16 (2005)
In 2005, Tiger Woods found his ball nestled in the rough for a birdie chip attempt in a playoff hole against Chris DiMarco. With a lie that almost seemed impossible to get within five feet, Tiger defied all odds by chipping the ball up to the top part of the green and letting the slope do the rest of the work. After a long, breaking roll, Tiger’s ball finally tipped into the cup in dramatic fashion. Tiger carried the momentum forward, going on to win his fourth green jacket. Believe it or not, Tiger shot a 40 on his front 9 in the first of the tournament. Talk about a comeback!
1. Bubba’s Perfect Punch Shot (2012)
This is probably the most popular and historic winning shot in the history of the modern golf era, let alone a Masters. In 2012, Bubba Watson squared off with Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff which ended in a way that most viewers wouldn’t expect. After starting the day off 3 shots behind the leader, Watson went on to birdie four consecutive holes, earning him a spot in the sudden death playoff. On the second playoff hole, Watson put his drive far right into the woods beyond the gallery of fans where it settled in a tricky spot on a bed of pine straw. After examining the lie in a fashion reminiscent of another famous Watson (of the Sherlock variety), Bubba determined that he would need at least 40 yards of left to right hook to get the ball out of the wooded area and turning towards the green. The resulting shot could not have ended up any better for Bubba who went on to win the hole and the Green Jacket. Here’s a scientific breakdown of our greatest Masters moment.
What is your own personal favorite Masters moment? Let us know by leaving a comment below.