By Sam Tremlett
We take a look at some of the best shots to be hit in the past decade.
The 16 Best Shots Of The Past Decade
We have seen some incredible shots over the past decade or so and with it coming to a close we have been tasked with picking the best of the bunch. This was not an easy task because it seems at every tournament there is a shot worthy of inclusion. By no means have we tried to put these in any order so without further ado lets start with Dustin Johnson at Kapalua.
Dustin Johnson, Sentry Tournament of Champions, 2018
During the final round of the 2018 tournament Johnson took out his driver and proceeded to smash it onto the green 433 yards away. Unbelievably the ball nearly rolled into the cup.
Bubba Watson, Masters 2012
On Masters Sunday in 2012, Bubba Watson reeled off four consecutive birdies from the 13th to force a play-off with Louis Oostuizen. 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.
Jordan Spieth, Open Championship, 2017
After struggling throughout the final day Spieth played the final five holes in five-under par to romp past Matt Kuchar to win his third Major title. The pick of the bunch was this stunning eagle putt on the 15th.
Phil Mickelson, Masters, 2010
On the way to his third US Masters title, Phil Mickelson played a shot that would not only be a defining moment of the tournament, but could well be the one with which his sparkling career is most remembered. After going into the trees on the 13th hole, Mickelson then played a remarkable 6-iron from 207 yards between the trees, landing just over the creek in front of the green to just four feet from the hole.
Tiger Woods, Quicken Loans National, 2015
After a wayward driver Tiger was in trouble on the par-4 12th at the Quicken Loans National tournament. He faced a tough hanging lie which suggested a wedge out into play was the only real option, but instead he took a five-wood out of the bag and hit a 220-yard shot onto the green.
Louis Oosthuizen, The Masters, 2012
Louis Oosthuizen started the final day of the 2012 Masters in third place and went on the offensive. On the second, after a well-positioned drive, he hit a controlled 4-iron to the green’s front edge and let the contours do the rest. “Hop up, hop up, this is going to be very good… it could be better than that… an albatross is calling!” It was only the fourth albatross in Masters history.
Renato Paratore, Porsche European Open, 2018
After missing the 18th fairway to the right, Paratore faced a chip out back into play because water surrounded the green. A cutting long-iron was never the shot to play, however that is exactly what he did. Unbelievably he pulled it off too as the ball landed roughly 12 feet from the flag.
(Shot in question takes place in the video below at 8.53)
Rory McIlroy, PGA Championship, 2014
Heading into the final round For was one stroke clear but had relinquished the lead after two bogeys on the front nine. Then, on the par-5 10th, after seeing Rickie Fowler hole a long putt, the Northern Irishman had to force the issue. After splitting the fairway he took out a fairway wood and somehow ran the ball up to the flag which set up a pivotal eagle. He then played the remaining holes in two-under to win the tournament.
Bubba Watson, Hyundai Tournament of Champions, 2011
We all know Bubba loves to play golf his own way but this shot took that to a whole new level. After smashing a 348-yard drive, Watson took out the driver again looking to play a massive cut to run the ball onto the green 305 yards away. Somehow he pulled it off and then holed the putt for eagle.
Graeme McDowell, Ryder Cup, 2010
One-up against Hunter Mahan playing 16, McDowell split the fairway then struck a sweet mid-iron to about 15 feet, prompting a slightly rueful smile for he knew the putt would be lightning fast despite all the rain. Barely taking the putter back, he stroked the ball gently down the slope and watched it drift right before just catching the right half of the hole.
Justin Thomas, US Open, 2017
Justin Thomas went crazy on the third day of play at the US Open held at Erin Hills. This monstrous 3-wood set up an eagle which meant he shot 63, the lowest score in relation to par in US Open history. He also hit another towering 3-wood to drive the 288 yard par-4 15th hole, but unfortunately missed the six-foot eagle putt.
Tiger Woods, Memorial, 2012
One behind, Tiger miscued on the par-3 16th, going through the green. He was left with 40 feet back towards the pin, downhill with a water hazard lurking behind. To add to the difficulty, his ball was buried in the rough. He played a full flop, landed it softly on the green and watched it roll into the cup. “The most unbelievable, gutsy shot I’ve ever seen,” said tournament host Jack Nicklaus.
Ian Poulter, Ryder Cup, 2012
We all knew the Ryder Cup brought out the best in Ian Poulter, but nobody ever thought he was capable of the golf he played on the inward stretch during Saturday’s fourballs at this year’s Ryder Cup. After birdies at 14, 15, 16 and 17, Poulter, playing alongside Rory McIlroy, had managed to keep the charge of Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson at bay. Heading to the 18th Poulter managed to hole one more putt, a 15-footer, to somehow bring Europe back from the dead. The team then went on to stun the Americans in a comeback the next day.
Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed, 2016, Hazeltine
In what will go down as one of the greatest Ryder Cup matches ever Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed went toe-to-toe all day on Sunday in 2016. Things got incredibly heated on the eighth hole when Rory holed a monster putt that would usually win the hole. Rory’s famous celebration drew a visceral response from the largely American crowd.
Reed then followed him in and waved his finger at the Irishman, which he took like a good sport. They fist bumped and Reed would eventually emerge victorious on the 18th. The US would win 17-11.
Sergio Garcia, The Masters, 2017
After bogeying 10, 11 and finding trouble on 13, it looked as if Sergio would have to wait even longer for his first major victory. But in 2017 this was not to be the case as he played some brilliant golf down the stretch to get into a playoff with Justin Rose. After a birdie at the 14th, Garcia split the 15th fairway leaving only a short iron in. He hit a towering, crips iron shot right at the flag that settled just a few feet from the pin. He holed the putt and he was back in the tournament. It was a momentous moment in his career and one we are unlikely to forget.
Shane Lowry, Open Championship, 2019
We couldn't pick between two of Lowry's shot from his magical 63 during the 2019 Open Championship. The first we selected was his approach out of thick rough to the par-4 10th. Somehow he extracted himself out and used the slopes of the green to get within 10 feet.
Then, on the incredibly tough par-3 16th hole he hit the best shot of the day to within a flags length. He would go on to win the tournament the next day.
Are there any we have missed? Let us know by following Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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