The 18 most iconic moments at The Masters - Part 3

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Augusta has provided the backdrop to some of sport’s most iconic moments. Golf Today editor Mark Flanagan counts down his top 18
Posted on
March 22, 2023
Mark Flanagan in ,
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

6) Scott Hoch misses that putt in 1989

A lot has been written and said about Scott Hoch’s putt but there is so much more to the story than one agonisingly-bad stroke.

Perhaps most eye catching was just how badly the American missed that putt on the opening play-off hole (the 10th).

But before all that so much happened… not least Nick Faldo shooting a brilliant 65 to get into contention.

Hoch and Ben Crenshaw were in the final group and both were level with the Englishman playing the last.

The Two Americans drove into ideal positions but Crenshaw pulled his five iron left and would bogey the last. Meanwhile Hoch, who bogeyed 17 – missing from five feet –  had a 15 footer to win to claim his first Green Jacket but he missed to the left.

Back to the 10th they went and Faldo went first off the tee, finding the middle of the fairway but he was a long way back. Hoch hit a pearler and left himself 40 yards in front of his playing partner.

Faldo found sand front right and Hoch looked firmly in the driving seat as he left himself with a 30-footer for birdie.

The English star disappointingly splashed out to 20 feet and he would miss the putt. At this point he must have thought it was all over but Hoch, facing a slippery 25-incher, left it out to the left…way left. So far left was his effort it didn’t even touch the hole. In fact the one coming back was considerably longer but Hoch recovered his composure to ensure they went up the 11th.

Whether Faldo sensed it was his time or not is not clear. However he played the hole like he believed destiny was on his side as, in the gathering gloom, he rolled in a 25-foot birdie effort to secure the first of his three Masters titles.


5) Gene Sarazen holes his second shot at par five 15th in 1935

It became known as the shot that was heard around the world but unfortunately just a few lucky souls got to see the ball disappear.

Sarazen’s extraordinary two at 15 got him back in the race and he would eventually tie with Craig Wood.

The next day the two players took part in a 36-hole play-off, Sarazen winning by five shots ahead to take the second Augusta National Invitation Tournament. The Masters moniker was only adopted in 1940.

4) Tiger’s last-roll chip-in on 16 in 2005

This is arguably Tiger’s most famous shot. It is remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least the way the ball pauses for a second before deciding to drop.

Woods was almost certainly the best chipper in golf history and all his legendary short games skills were in evidence as he sent the ball up the slope on 16… just far enough for it to drop in on its final roll.

The birdie two seemed to have sealed the victory for the World No 1 but he would famously bogey the final two holes to put him in a play-off with Chris DiMarco, who had started the final day four shots back of Woods.

The two players went back to the 18th, Woods firing his approach to 15 feet while his rival was short in two.

DiMarco hit a wonderful chip to gimme range but the master of the dramatic finish rolled in his birdie attempt to secure his fourth Green Jacket.


3) Jack Nicklaus’s tee shot at 16 in 1986

The 1986 Masters was the greatest golf tournament in history. Those who were lucky enough to watch that final day and see 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus come through a field containing Ballesteros, Norman, Price, Kite and Watson saw golf at its most magical.

Picking one moment is not easy but time has swayed the pivotal moment to Nicklaus’s tee shot at 16. We have subsequently learned that as The Golden Bear hit that three-quarter five iron, his caddy and son Jackie jnr said: ‘Be the right club’.

And, as his father picked up his tee, he replied with just two words: ‘It is’.

The ball finished just four feet from the hole, setting up a birdie.

Another one at 17 would get him to nine under and fate conspired to make that the magic number as Kite, Ballesteros and then, finally Norman, missed out on good chances to deny Nicklaus his 18th major.


2) Larry Mize’s chip-in in 1987

For pure drama, it just doesn’t get any better than Larry Mize holing out from 40 yards to win the Masters.

This was the storyline that had everything… a local, unknown pro defeats the world’s best player in the most outrageous fashion.

The shot itself was described as a million to one by Mark Calcavecchia, Mize holing out from 25 yards off the green at the 11th. Such was the speed that it hit the hole, had the ball been travelling a couple of millimetres either side, it would probably have ended up in the water.

The tariff was ridiculous and execution ensured Mize’s place in golfing folklore.

After the gift of Jack Nicklaus’s win in 1986, you would have been hard-pushed to find anyone who thought 1987 could eclipse it for drama, but Mize’s chip-in just about managed it.


1) Tiger’s walk down 18 in 2019

We waited 11 years to see Tiger win his 15th Major and it was well worth it. The scene will be etched into the memories of sports fans all around the world… thousands of Augusta patrons dispensing with the local niceties and following ‘The Great Man’ up the 18th fairway.

For all the great golf he achieved, seeing the fans embrace the sport’s most iconic figure in this way will become the clip that is replayed time and again... 20, 100, a 1000 years from now.

Only Tiger could be induce such an extraordinary scene as he held on to beat Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele by one shot.

And even as it threatened to get out of control, Tiger refused to change the pace of his walk up to the final green. He was clearly determined to soak it all in.

Part 1, Part 2

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About Mark Flanagan

Mark Flanagan has spent 25 years as a sports journalist. He has written for multiple golf magazines and can often be found missing putts from inside gimme range.

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