March 03, 2021
By GolfWRX, PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods’ best winning moments at Arnold Palmer Invitational
During his career, Woods has reigned supreme eight times as a professional at Arnold Palmer's place, and before these wins, there was also the U.S. Junior Amateur title in 1991, where Tiger won for the first time at Bay Hill.
As the 45-year-old continues his recovery from his serious car accident suffered last week, here's a look back at Woods' five greatest shots at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the clubs he used for each one.
5. 2012 (final round): Approach to No. 8
At the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, Tiger was looking to end a two-and-a-half-year winless streak, on what was a windy Sunday with greens and pins that Woods would afterwards describe as the most difficult he had ever experienced at this event.
On the treacherous eighth hole, Woods held a two-stroke lead. Sitting in the middle of the fairway with the pin on the left side guarded by the pond in front of the green, Woods, who would often lean on his cut shot during his time working with Sean Foley, struck a high draw. The ball landed softly on the front portion of the green and rolled to within 5 feet of the cup.
The bold shot paid off and gave Woods a three-stroke advantage, and he would go on to secure his 72nd PGA TOUR win and begin his ascension back to World No. 1.
Club Used: Nike VR Pro Blade 8-iron with a True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.
4. 2009 (final round): Third shot to No. 16
Tiger began the 2009 final round at Bay Hill five strokes adrift of playing partner Sean O'Hair. The 16th hole in 2009 was a challenging par 4 (now plays as a par 5), and it looked to be advantage O'Hair after Woods was forced to pitch out following a wayward drive.
However, O'Hair gave the initiative back to Woods when he found the water guarding the pin at the front of the green.
Faced with a tricky 85-yard wedge shot to the flag for his third, Woods aimed 25 feet away from the hole toward the archway on the green, causing the announcers in the booth to question the line he was taking.
As Woods' pitching wedge landed at the top of the archway and spun back to just a couple of feet from the hole, the announcers quickly laughed off how they had foolishly questioned Woods' thinking, saying: "I think he knows what he's doing!"
Club Used: Nike Victory Red 60-degree wedge with a True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shaft
3. 2001 (final round): Approach to No. 18
Back in 2001, Woods and Mickelson were locked in a tense battle on Sunday at Bay Hill. With Lefty in the house at 15-under par, Woods needed a par on 18 to force a playoff or a birdie to win.
However, a birdie seemed extremely unlikely after the 15-time major champion pulled his tee shot into the rough. While many players would have played safe out to the left and try and salvage par from there, Woods attempted what Johnny Miller described as a 'hero shot' over the water and rocks to a tucked pin.
Woods striped his 5-iron into the heart of the green and then curled his birdie putt into the cup before celebrating with his signature uppercut fist-pump. All Mickelson could do was applaud from the side of the green.
Club Used: Titleist 681T (Endo Forged) 5-iron with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.
2. 2009 (final round): Final putt
At Bay Hill in 2009, Woods was searching for his first win since undergoing reconstructive surgery for an anterior cruciate ligament rupture in his left knee the previous summer.
After Woods' stunning wedge shot into 16 (No. 4), a bogey on 17 had brought him back into a share of the lead with O'Hair.
On the 18th hole, Woods was left with a 16-foot birdie putt for the victory as the light faded over Bay Hill. Woods backed off the putt due to a shout from the crowd, went through his routine once again, and then poured the left-to-right putt into the hole to spark wild celebrations between him and Steve Williams.
Nine months after his surgery, Tiger was well and truly back.
Club used: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS
1. 2008 (final round): Final putt
Tiger Woods entered the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational playing some of the best golf of his life, having won seven of his last eight PGA TOUR events. At Bay Hill that year, looking to keep the perfect season dream alive, Woods was embroiled in a battle for the ages, and once again, it all came down to the 72nd hole.
Tied with Bart Bryant on the 18th hole, Woods left himself an immensely difficult 24-foot birdie putt above the hole with a severe break from left to right.
Tiger's putt started out to the left before turning towards the hole and dropping right in the middle of the cup with the perfect pace. 'Hello, Ben Hogan!' was the famous call from the tower as a fired-up Woods ripped off his hat and threw it to the ground in an outpouring of joy to celebrate his 64th PGA TOUR victory.
Woods was 0-for-20 in putts over 18 feet that week before the 72nd hole, but in true Tiger fashion, when it mattered most, he would summon up the magic needed to find the back of the hole.
Club used: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS