Greatest ever shots
Golf Monthly has published a list of the 100 greatest golf shots ever played. Will you agree with their selections?
Last Updated: 28/11/12 1:13pm
Tiger Woods' chip shot at 16 tops Golf Monthly's list
Trying to list and order the greatest golf shots ever hit is a pretty huge, some might say, impossible, task.
But that's what Golf Monthly magazine has attempted in their latest issue after using a points system taking in flair, importance, pressure and difficultly.
Debate was fierce and final-round Masters classics such as Sandy Lyle's bunker shot at 18 and Phil Mickelson's 6-iron through the trees from the pine straw at 13 both fail to crack the top 10.
And what of Seve's famous car park shot in the 1979 Open at Lytham? Golf Monthly only has it in at number 50!
"There are no real right or wrongs," says Golf Monthly assistant editor Alex Narey, but nevertheless the debate is a fascinating one.
Let us know your thoughts at the bottom of the page and also vote in our poll which asks you to select from Golf Monthly's top 10. To help you choose, here are their explanations of those never-to-be-forgotten shots.
View the whole list
To see the full countdown of 100 shots, check out the January issue of Golf Monthly.
1) Tiger Woods (Chip, 16th hole, final round 2005 Masters)
Woods arrived at Augusta's 16th - a one-shotter of 170 yards with water to the green's front and left - leading Chris DiMarco by only a single stroke. He fired an 8-iron through the back, his ball coming to rest against the second cut, which meant he would struggle to get clean contact on the ball. With the 16th one of Augusta's most contoured greens, he then began to weigh up his options, walking back and forth to a landing zone some 20 feet left of the flag. Then he hit the shot, the ball checking in the exact spot where he had stood seconds before. Anything inside 10 feet would have been good, but the ball rolled and rolled, easing up as its Nike logo became more visible. Just when you thought it had stopped, it turned over once more and fell into the hole. He went on to win a play-off.
2) Padraig Harrington (5-wood to 17th at Birkdale, final round 2008 Open)
Coming to the par-5 17th, the defending Open champion was two clear of clubhouse leader Ian Poulter and three ahead of playing partner Greg Norman. When Harrington pulled out a wood for his second shot, 249 yards from the pin, Norman whispered to his caddie, "Hey, we can still win this." But Padraig played a perfect shot, turning from left to right and chasing up the green to set up an eagle three and a second Open title.
3) Tom Watson (Pebble Beach, chip-in 1982 US Open 71st hole)
When his crisply struck 2-iron drifted pin-high into thickish rough it seemed he would be denied his dearest wish (a first US Open) once more. It would require the touch of a surgeon to get it close on the firm Pebble greens but Watson boldly told caddie Bruce Edwards he was going to hole it. With clubhouse and stance way open, he made a short, positive swing, slid the club under the ball making perfect contact and set off on his spontaneous well before the ball rolled into the flag and disappeared underground. Fifteen minutes later, the title he so craved was his thanks to a closing birdie. The most perfect of shots under the greatest of pressure.
4) Seve Ballesteros (3-wood from the bunker, 1983 Ryder Cup)
Ballesteros had been three-up with five to play against Fuzzy Zoeller during his 1983 singles match, but they were tied at 18. The Spaniard fired his tee-shot into deep rough, then a bunker, 245 yards from the pin. With his 3-wood, he narrowly avoided the lip and flew left to right before landing on the green's fringe. "Greatest shot I ever saw," said Jack Nicklaus. "It made me blink," agreed Zoeller.
5) Gene Sarazen (4-wood to 15th at Augusta, final round, 1935 Masters)
Three behind Craig Wood with four to play in the second Masters Tournament, Sarazen was up against it. But he erased the entire deficit with a single stroke, holing his second shot to the par-5 15th - the shot heard 'round the world'. Sarazen went on to finish tied with Wood and beat him in the Monday play-off. "I rode into the shot with every ounce of strength and timing I could muster," he later wrote.
6) Bubba Watson (from the trees, play-off, 2012 Masters)
On Masters Sunday in 2012, Bubba Watson reeled off four consecutive birdies from the 13th to force a play-off with Louis Oosthuizen. Both parred the 18th (play-off), but Watson's hooked drive into dense woodland on the 10th seemed to have put paid to his chances. He saw a gap, though, and produced an impossible wedge shot that bent almost 90 degrees and settled 15 feet from the hole.
Bubba Watson's amazing shot from the trees in this year's Masters
7) Christy O'Connor Jnr (2-iron at 18th, 1989 Ryder Cup)
A fairytale moment for the Irishman who had cruelly been dismissed as Europe's weak link in the press that very morning. There was nothing weak about the 2-iron he flushed to four feet on The Belfry's notorious 18th. So flustered was Freddie Couples that despite being 80 yards past O'Connor off the tee, he flailed his 9-iron wildly right almost into the crowd. The Brabazon's 18th hole was made for moments like this.
8) Tiger Woods (Bunker shot with 6-iron, 2000 Canadian Open)
"This is guts right here," said the CBS team as Tiger took a huge breath and stood behind his bunker shot at the 18th on the last day of the 2000 Canadian Open. Woods had 213 yards and a lake to carry. But throwing everything into the shot, Woods picked the ball cleanly off the sand, sending it high and long as it landed 15 feet from the pin on the fringe. The gamble paid off.
9) Costantino Rocca (Putt on 18th at St Andrews, final round, 1995 Open)
Rocca came to the home hole needing a birdie to force a four-hole play-off with American John Daly. He hit a fine drive just short and left of the green from where an up-and-down looked a distinct possibility. But Rocca fluffed his chip and ball dribbled into the treacherous Valley of Sin. Rocca still had a chance, but he needed to hole from 65 feet, unlikely to say the least. He struck the putt firmly and it ran up onto, and across, the green towards the hole. Incredibly it dropped, as did Rocca - to his knees with his arms aloft. He took off his hat, fell forward to the ground and began beating the turf with his fists.
10) Tiger Woods (Putt to force a play-off, 2008 US Open)
Coming to the 72nd hole, a visibly limping Woods needed a birdie to draw level with Rocco Mediate. Having found sand from the tee he needed to lay up, which he did into the rough. His resulting pitch onto the green left him a quick downhill 12-foot putt with a severe break to draw level with Mediate. With the most minimal of backswings, Woods found the right edge of the hole and erupted as the putt dropped - incredible when you think of the situation and his physical state. Woods would win the Monday play-off.
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