Best shot I ever hit
Some of the games greatest discuss their strokes of genius
August 03, 2015
By Brian Wacker and Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Some of the games greatest discuss their strokes of genius
There are, give or take, more than 1.2 million shots hit during any given season on the PGA TOUR. Some are more memorable than others.
Bubba Watson’s hooking wedge from the woods on the 10th hole at Augusta National during a playoff at the 2012 Masters.
Tiger Woods’ 6-iron from 213 yards out of a bunker, over water to a tucked pin on the final hole of the 2000 RBC Canadian Open.
Tom Watson’s chip-in on the 71st hole of the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
But what do PGA TOUR players consider the best shot they ever hit? We asked to find out.
Rory McIlroy: 2011 U.S. Open, final round, par-3 10th hole at Congressional.
“I always think back to the 6-iron at Congressional on the 10th hole on Sunday because coming off the Masters and having everything go wrong on the 10th hole on Sunday there was something I needed to get past the 10th and 11th hole. Even though I had a big lead I needed to play the shot. Once you got past 10 and 11 you were fine because there’s no real trouble, there was no disaster. To hit a shot like that on 10 after doing what I did on 10 at Augusta it really meant a lot to me. I was probably feeling more pressure over that shot than I should’ve been feeling because I had a big lead. But I think back to Augusta and how everything went wrong at 10. It was a big deal to me, and I hit a great shot, hit it stiff, made birdie and ended up winning by a lot.”
Jason Day: 2010 Byron Nelson Championship, third round, par-4 14th hole at TPC Las Colinas
“The 14th at the Byron Nelson goes down and around the corner, (2010) that’s the year I won. I think it was a Saturday, I hit my 2-iron way right in the hazard, tried to chip it out but it didn’t get far enough. There was a tree -- I had 9-iron in my hands from 150 yards -- and there was a hole in a tree about this big. I hit it straight through there to 15 feet and holed the putt for par. Then I went on to win the tournament after that. I’ve got a bunch of shots I enjoy but that’s the one that really sticks out because that was my first win on the PGA TOUR.”
Brandt Snedeker: 2012 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, final round, par-5 16th at East Lake
“The best shot I ever hit was one probably nobody ever remembers, but I hit a 5-iron into 16 at East Lake when I won the TOUR Championship (in 2012). It was into the wind, pin was on the right. I hit a cut shot -- a cut’s not my forte -- a 5-iron to about 10 feet. I had a good look at birdie but didn’t make it but under the circumstances and the pressure and everything I had to do to be able to hit a cut shot and to put it close and give myself a birdie opportunity that kind of locked up what I thought was going to be my first TOUR championship, first FedExCup title was a pretty special moment.”
Rickie Fowler: 2010 Ryder Cup, Sunday singles, par-3 17th hole at Celtic Manner
“Eighteen was good but 17 was better. I had a putt in there, probably 20 feet, left to right, downhill. Not an easy put to make and I was in a position where I had to make it (to keep the match going). I felt like looking back 18 was an easier putt, 17, for a right-handed golfer, left-to-righter down the hill, so much is involved --have to start the ball on line, have the proper speed. It was a great putt under a lot of pressure in the situation.”
Adam Scott: 2013 Masters, playoff, 10th hole at Augusta National
“The best shot I ever hit is my 6-iron on the 10th hole at Augusta in the playoff at the Masters. It’s maybe not the most exciting shot, but it’s the best quality shot under those kind of conditions that I’ve ever hit. It was a hook lie and I hit a little held 6-iron to that back flag at the 10th. It was a shot I probably wouldn’t have hit during the week but I kind of seized the moment and felt like it was my time and to pull it off and I hit it 10 or 12 feet. I feel it was the best quality shot I ever hit.”
Bill Haas: 2011 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, playoff, par-4 17th hole at East Lake
“The shot out of the water at East Lake is pretty easy for me to say for what it did for me career-wise. That was in a playoff, the pressure I was under. That said, it was somewhat of a lucky shot. I wish I could say more of a shot that was a hole-out to win or a more athletic shot but for me the best shot, under the gun, what it meant, it’s pretty hard for me not to say that one.”
Hunter Mahan: 2010 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, final round, 18th hole at Firestone Country Club
“One of the best shots I hit was the driver on 18 when I won (at Firestone). It’s all about the drive there. If you can hit it perfect, you leave yourself a short iron; if you miss it a little bit it’s going to be difficult. I smoked a nice draw down the middle of the fairway and had a wedge left. I had a two-shot lead at the time so that was big.”
Ryan Moore: 2010 Masters, final round, par-3 16th hole at Augusta National
“It’s maybe not my best but it’s one of my favorite shots I hit was I made a hole-in-one on 16 at Augusta in the Masters on Sunday. It was in the afternoon, it was that shot where you hit the bank and it must’ve rolled 30-35 feet before it went in the hole. There were a ton of people there and honestly I’ve never heard a roar like that and it was definitely one of the best shots I’ve ever hit.”
Nick Watney: 2011 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, final round, par-4 18th at Trump Doral
“I had a one-shot lead and ended up making birdie on the hole not to win but almost to clinch it. That's probably the best hole I've ever played. I hit a driver, a perfect little draw driver up the right side and then an 8-iron right where I was looking on the green, about 12 feet right and then I made the putt right in the middle. So there's three good shots at a really good time. It's the ultimate feeling, I think. That's why I play -- when it matters the most, to pull off shots is the best feeling.”
Webb Simpson: 2007 Azalea Amateur, final round, par-4 second hole at Country Club of Charleston
“I was in a playoff with Billy Horschel, and it was the second playoff hole. I was in a fairway bunker and I had one foot out of the bunker and one foot in. I was trying to hit it about 40 feet left of the hole. And it came out right and went to about 2 feet, and I made it to win the tournament. So that's a shot I'll never forget.”
Davis Love III: 1996 Presidents Cup, Sunday singles, par-5 15th hole at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club
“I hit a 4-iron against Jumbo Ozaki and I said, ‘I'm just going to cut it in over the water. And I hit it in there, like, eagle putt. (My caddie) says nobody's ever hit a 4-iron that good. So I always claim that one. Everybody always says the shot out of the woods at TPC Sawgrass on 16 but I like that 4-iron. Whenever I pulled a 4-iron out he'd try to give me confidence – ‘remember that 4-iron you hit against Jumbo.’”
J.B. Holmes, 2008 Ryder Cup, Sunday singles, par-4 17th hole, Valhalla Golf Club
“Probably my approach shot into 17 at the Ryder Cup was one of my better shots. I hit it up to tap-in and basically secure the Ryder Cup for the U.S., so that was probably the most memorable, best shots. I've hit a bunch of good shots so I don't necessarily know if I'd put it on one. It was unbelievable. Being able to play for your country and the experience. That was definitely my best experience in golf, for sure. It was a blast. Paul Azinger did a great job that year getting us together and getting us to play as a team and everybody played great so it was a lot of fun.”
Jason Gore, 2005 84 Lumber Classic, final round, par-4 18th hole at Nemacolin Woods
"I think I had like 84, 85 feet and knocked it up there to a foot to win. If I knew what I was thinking I'd be a heck of a lot better player. I had a one-shot lead on 18 and had to two-putt to win. I was just trying to hit a good putt. At that point, you're so, like, hyper-focused that you don't even really think about what's going on. I just tried to pick a spot and I just tried to hit it and make sure I got it there. The one-footer was hard because I actually had started to read it, and I was like, oh, c'mon, just hit it."
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