It was the mission of all missions, but Golf Monthly has given it a go! Through hours of research, we have brought together our list of the 100 greatest golf shots ever played. From old-school legends like Ben Hogan to the modern-day mavericks of John Daly, it’s time to pour yourself a brew, sit back and enjoy…
3. Tom Watson – Pebble Beach, chip-in 1982 US Open, 71st hole
With two Masters and three Opens already to his name, the US Open was still a glaring omission on Watson’s CV moving into 1982. But after a stellar third-round 68, it seemed he might finally get his wish, tied for the lead with Bill Rogers and three ahead of arch-rival Jack Nicklaus.
But by the time Nicklaus was tapping in for a closing 69 as Watson stood on Pebble’s iconic par-3 17th tee, the pair were tied, leaving Watson the daunting task of parring in just to make a play-off. When his crisply struck 2-iron drifted pin-high into thickish rough it seemed he would be denied his dearest wish once more. But two things worked in Watson’s favour – the lie wasn’t too bad, and it called for a favourite cut shot that he liked to practise. It would still require the touch of a surgeon to get it close on the firm Pebble greens, but with caddie Bruce Edwards urging him to do just that, Watson boldly replied that he was going to hole it.
With clubface and stance way open, he made a short, positive swing, slid the club under the ball making perfect contact, realised as soon as it landed that it had come out just right, and set off on his spontaneous celebratory jog well before the ball rolled into the flag and disappeared underground. Fifteen minutes later, the title he so craved was finally his thanks to a closing birdie on 18. The most perfect of shots under the greatest of pressure.
GM Rating 98.8/100