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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why The Masters Will Always be Special.

For those of you who have not already seen it, please go watch highlights of this year’s Master’s Final Round. If you have never played golf you cannot comprehend how amazing some of the shots that we saw were. A double eagle just doesn’t happen and who would have thought the double eagle wouldn’t even be the best shot of the tournament. Bubba Watson’s amazing shot from the trees on the second playoff hole that landed mere feet from the flag stick is one of the greatest moments we have ever seen at the Masters. Here are my top moments of my lifetime.

5. Phil Michelson 2004
I am a Tiger Woods guy so naturally I don’t always root for Lefty, though I do respect him when he wins. The #2 to Tiger, Michelson has some classic moments under his belt, perhaps none more than his 31 on the final 9 to win his first Green Jacket. His dramatic putt for birdie on the 18th hole to win by one shot was a dramatic filled moment only to be topped by Mickelson’s vertical leap of joy. What an image, what a moment.

4. Faldo/Norman 1996
Though I was only ten when this tournament occurred, this tournament has established the term ‘epic collapse.” Nick Faldo was always known as consistent and error free player and his 67 on the final day at Augusta helped overcome a 6 shot deficit to Greg Norman who will go down in history as having one of the worst collapses ever. Norman shot a miserable 78 after going into Sunday with a 6 shot league.
Many point out how crazy the final round really was. His birdie putt on 11 just barely missed, but Norman would eventually miss his par putt and lead him to risking it on 12 and we all know what happened there.

3. Tiger Woods 2005
In 2005, Tiger Woods, up by one shot in the final round of the Masters, pitched his second shot on the par 3 16th hole well above the hole and watched with the golf nation as it slowly trickled down the slope towards the cup.
After his Nike ball appeared to come to a stop on the edge of the hole, the CBS director ordered the technical director to take the camera shot with Tiger's anguished reaction. The TD disobeyed the order, stayed with the shot, and as the ball disappeared, the greatest golf ball commercial ever, and the worst high five, were instantly born. Tiger went on to bogie the last two holes, fall into a playoff, and birdie the first playoff hole to win what may very well be his final Masters.

2. Tiger Woods 1997
Take away Rory’s dominant US Open Win and Tiger Wood’s dominating 12 shot victory in 1997 may be the most dominating golf performance ever. Shockingly, Tiger started out poorly with a 40 on his first 9 but then ending up shattering the 72 whole scoring record while becoming the youngest winner ever. As I have said, when you have rules changed for you, you are amazing. The PGA changed the course to increase the difficulty in 1998. Enough said.

1.       Jack Nicholas 1986
Though I was not even born, I have heard enough about this Masters to say this was the most memorable Masters moment ever. Many feel this was the greatest tournament in history. Nicholas who was 46 and had gone 6 years from his previous victory shot a stunning 30 on the final 9 with 6 birdies and an eagle on his last 10 holes. Let that sink in for a second. Nicholas’ stunning back nine helped him beat Norman, Kite, Ballesteros and Watson.  While the birdie on 17 is the shot that gets the most television play, his nearly holing of a five-iron on 16 (and assuring his caddie/son that it was "right" in the air) is really the number one moment in Masters History. 

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