THE GREAT­EST SHOT I’VE EVER SEEN

Play­ers and pun­dits pick the shots that made even them say ‘wow, that’s im­pres­sive!’

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From Jack Nick­laus and Gary Player to An­drew “Beef” John­ston, we ask play­ers and pun­dits about the great­est shot they’ve ever seen.

Rory McIl­roy hit 4,338 shots on the PGA Tour last year. Dustin Johnson hit 5,977. There were 106 ea­gles, 27 aces and one al­ba­tross… Yet none of them make it onto this play­ers’ list of the great­est shots ever seen.

To be a truly great shot, it needs some­thing ex­tra spe­cial. The de­gree of dif­fi­culty; what’s on the line; how much risk and re­ward is in­volved... It’s a tough ques­tion – top play­ers and pun­dits have seen a LOT of shots! But that didn’t stop us ask­ing Ma­jor cham­pi­ons and Tour win­ners to pick the best they’ve ever seen, ei­ther in per­son or on TV.

It takes one to know one, and so when the shots in ques­tion im­me­di­ately popped into the minds of the peo­ple we asked, you know they were re­ally good. And it was no sur­prise to us that three names – Tiger Woods, Phil Mick­el­son and Seve Balles­teros – cropped up more than once...

JOR­DAN SPI­ETH Three-time Ma­jor cham­pion

The shot: “Tiger’s chip-in at the 16th at the 2005 Mas­ters. I’ve been there and seen how dif­fi­cult it was – and still is, with his ball up against the col­lar. It’s just un­be­liev­able that he pro­duced that shot at that cru­cial time with the feel­ing that the ti­tle is in his hands at that mo­ment... again some­thing which I know all about. To have the nerve to achieve per­fect con­tact, to know ex­actly where to hit it and to pro­duce it at that par­tic­u­lar time... ab­so­lutely un­be­liev­able.”

KARRIE WEBB World Hall of Famer, eight-time Ma­jor cham­pion

The shot: “I’ve seen so many great shots, so it’s hard to think of one in par­tic­u­lar. I should be think­ing of women’s best shots, but my favourite tour­na­ment to watch on TV grow­ing up was the Mas­ters. So Tiger’s chip shot from the back of the green on 16 is hard to go past. Only he could hit that shot. I’ve maybe made one or two putts to win on the last hole in my ca­reer – but he was, at one point, seem­ingly able to do that two or three times a year.”

CAMERON MCCORMICK Coach to Jor­dan spi­eth

The shot: “I have to go back to Tiger’s shot on 16 at Au­gusta, I mean just to be in that dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion down, short sided, left of the green and to have to con­vert like he did, just the the­atrics and the dra­matic na­ture of the shot. That one was aw­fully spe­cial.

So even the shots you maybe haven’t seen on TV and weren’t quite as cli­matic as that, the sit­u­a­tions you find your­self in at Au­gusta, some of the shots are un­fath­omable how these play­ers can pull them off. Any­one that’s ever played there, even out­side of the com­pe­ti­tion, can tell you that. But then when you see guys in com­pe­ti­tion when it gets shaved down and gets firm and fast, a lot of the shots they do around the greens, it’s pretty amaz­ing.

I’ve seen plenty of ‘are you kid­ding’ mo­ments from Mr. Spi­eth, so pick out any of those. Any of the bunker hole outs, the one at Trav­ellers last year was just, it’s an un­der­state­ment to call it epic right? I’d have to pick out one of Jor­dan’s but it wouldn’t be fair to pick out just one.”

BRANDEL CHAM­BLEE For­mer Tour player, now Golf Chan­nel an­a­lyst

The shot: “It was at Q School in Ari­zona in the mid-1980s and was a re­ally cold week – so cold I didn’t fancy get­ting out of the car to warm-up, pre­fer­ring to lis­ten to “Eye of the Tiger” – the Rocky movie theme – to get me in the right frame of mind to play. I was play­ing re­ally well and on the last day was paired with Bob Eaks, who not

many peo­ple would have heard of – all the tal­ent in the world, but not the great­est dis­po­si­tion to play golf. He was re­ally long and hit the ball straight up in the air with his pe­cu­liar swing – he had re­ally high hands and didn’t turn his body much. The last hole was a par-5 and he’s right on the bub­ble of mak­ing it, but he’s bal­looned his tee shot into air and it’s fin­ished 50 yards be­hind me. With a creek in front of the green, it’s a clear lay-up. So I couldn’t be­lieve it when he pulled out his wood.

I couldn’t be­lieve it ei­ther when his ball landed in the middle of the green and rolled up by the hole. I said: ‘Bob, that’s the great­est 3-wood I’ve seen in my life’ and he non­cha­lantly replied with ‘it wasn’t a 3-wood, it was a 5-wood!’ No pres­sure like Q School pres­sure.”

BROOKE HEN­DER­SON Five-time LPGA Tour win­ner

The shot: “I’ve seen so many great shots. But I’ve been lucky to have seen quite a few holes-in-one over the years. I’m not sure it’s the best shot that I ever hit or seen, be­cause I got a bit lucky with the roll oˆ the apron, but I had a hole-in-one on the par-3 13th at Sa­halee a few years back. It helped pro­pel me to the lead to win my first ma­jor, so I’ll take that one. It was a 7-iron from 152 yards.”

BERND WIESBERGER Four Euro­pean Tour wins

The shot: “I was play­ing at the 2014 PGA Cham­pi­onships at Val­halla on the Satur­day with Phil Mick­el­son. On the par-4 3rd, he tried to drive the green. The land­ing area was quite big at the front, but it was a lot nar­rower to­wards the back of the green; maybe three-and-a-half paces to each side. Mick­el­son drove right of the green and then had to play off a downs­lope from the rough with a bunker just in front. It was a re­ally tight pin, but he took a re­ally big swing and it landed so softly. It ended up about two feet from the hole. He made it look like the sim­plest shot in the world, but it was a 35-40-yard lob shot. That was im­pres­sive.”

VAUGHN TAY­LOR 2016 AT&T Peb­ble Beach win­ner

The shot: “I was com­pet­ing at the Bob Hope Clas­sic about six years ago, play­ing with an am­a­teur off about 20 who hadn’t been find­ing the club­face in the two pre­vi­ous rounds! We ar­rived at the 204-yard par-3 5th – sur­rounded by water – fear­ing the worst. He only went and holed out with a 6-iron for the most un­likely of aces. His fa­ther had re­cently died and the chap was flood­ing tears. With Dot­tie Pep­per and the TV crew on site, it made his golf­ing life!”

HAN­NAH GREEN LPGA Tour player

The shot: “Well it’s prob­a­bly one of Tiger’s putts – prob­a­bly the one at TPC (Saw­grass) on the 17th in 2001. I don’t re­mem­ber where I was watch­ing it, I don’t think it was live be­cause I was prob­a­bly at school. But I re­mem­ber watch­ing it and I was like, ‘ holy crap, wow, that’s when you know you can play’. I thought it was awe­some.”

BEN CRANE Five PGA Tour wins

The shot: “I was play­ing with Tiger on the Satur­day at Bay Hill, prob­a­bly 2013, when he hit a kind of spinny 3-wood off the 15th tee. It floated into the wind and didn’t even get up the hole far enough to reach the dog­leg. He’s got this huge bush in front of him and I couldn’t see how he could make the green from there. Wrong.

He takes a 3-iron into the wind and from around 210 yards, cuts it maybe 30 yards and puts it to within a foot of the hole. On the next hole, a par-5, he hits a 5-iron about the same dis­tance against the wind to within three feet to go birdie-ea­gle. Pure ge­nius.”

LEE WEST­WOOD 23 Euro­pean Tour wins

The shot: “Prob­a­bly Phil Mick­el­son’s shot out of the trees on 13 at Au­gusta in 2010.

In Detroit at that Ry­der Cup, Tiger Woods hit­ting a 3-wood, mas­sive cut into the 2nd, the par-5. He ob­vi­ously didn’t have a club for it. He was in the fair­way, pin was cut front left and he started it 40-yards left of the green and hit a mas­sive high bal­loon cut with 3-wood. He only had like 230, so he had to take plenty o† it and I mean it just come in so soft to about four feet.”

BILLY FOSTER Lee West­wood’s cad­die

The shot: Phil Mick­el­son on 13 at Au­gusta – the sec­ond best golf shot I’ve ever seen. Seve Balles­teros be­hind the wall (Crans Sur Sierre, Switzer­land), un­doubt­edly. In­cred­i­ble. To have the imag­i­na­tion to see it in the first place is be­yond all … no­body else would see that shot. I told him to chip it out four times.

Ar­guably the best shot I have seen, it was Seve at Hazel­tine, the 16th that goes around the lake and it goes into like a penin­sula green. There used to be a mas­sive oak tree on the right cor­ner o† the tee and it got hit by light­ning, it knocked it down and its not there any­more but it was a mas­sive Oak tree. He’s hit a 3-wood o† the tee and he was prob­a­bly 30-yards from the tree and it just cov­ered the whole green and it was like 150-160 yards, it was like an 8-iron shot re­ally. And he said watch this and pulled a 3-iron out and he must of hit it 80- yards left at the club­house, I mean an 80-yard cut with a 3-iron. Just opened it up and he cut it 80- yards onto that penin­sula green and it was just bonkers how good a shot that was. It wasn’t in com­pe­ti­tion, it was in a prac­tice round.”

RICKY BARNES Run­ner-up, 2009 US Open

The shot: “It has to be Tiger on a par-5 at the 2003 US Open at Olympia Fields. Blocked out by trees with his sec­ond shot, he car­ried his 3-wood about 270 yards, cut it about 55 yards and it rolled up and onto the green. He two-putted for birdie. I was play­ing with him and Ernie Els and we sim­ply nod­ded, ‘great shot’. As good as I’ve seen.”

ROBERT GARRIGUS PGA Tour win­ner

The shot: “I’ve got to go with Tiger Woods and his 3-iron out of a bunker at the PGA Cham­pi­onship, 2003 I think. He some­how hooked it 220 yards un­der the wind to within 15ft and made the putt. Prob­a­bly one of the best shots you’ll ever see in your life!”

DANNY WILLETT 2016 Mas­ters Cham­pion

The shot: “There is a re­ally fa­mous one of Tiger’s at the Cana­dian Open out of the trap that was ob­vi­ously amaz­ing, I wasn’t there but you still see it tele­vised. It’s funny though isn’t it that some of the best golf shots you will ever see are ac­tu­ally from some of the worst first shots you will ever see. Tiger’s chip-in on 16 (2005 Mas­ters) was amaz­ing, how he’s got there is a mir­a­cle. But then to chip in is then a ridicu­lous mir­a­cle. Tiger’s Cana­dian Open is prob­a­bly one of the top three golf shots that you ask any­body who plays golf and they will re­mem­ber Tiger’s 6-iron from like 215 out of the trap.

The 4-iron that he holed at The Open at Hoy­lake, when it was burnt out as any­thing, he hit iron ev­ery­where that week, didn’t go in a sin­gle bunker, hit it 260 o‘ ev­ery tee with a 4-iron and boxed one. In fair­ness to Tiger, there is go­ing to be a lot of Tiger’s golf shots in the high­light reel.

But then I am go­ing to throw in mine on 16 at Au­gusta from 176 with an 8-iron, be­cause of the sit­u­a­tion. It’s the one you can only re­mem­ber purely be­cause about what it meant. I’ve hit a lot of good golf shots but in the sit­u­a­tion I think with ev­ery­thing go­ing on, when your hands are shak­ing, it’s al­ways nice to know you can still hit shots like that.”

TED SCOTT Bubba Wat­son’s cad­die

The shot: “Ob­vi­ously, ev­ery­one talks about the hook shot Bubba hit on No.10 at Au­gusta, but one of my best mo­ments was on No.11 when he was deep in the pine straw on the right on the Fri­day in the 2012 Mas­ters. We were three un­der at the time and I said ‘hey, let’s just chip it out’ be­cause the worst he was go­ing to make was bo­gey. But he said he wanted to make a big old hook, start­ing it left of the water at the score­board from a ter­ri­ble lie. Firstly, I’m think­ing how is he go­ing to keep it low enough, un­der 15ft, for the first 30 yards? And sec­ondly, how can he hook it about 20-25 yards to miss the water? He in­sisted ‘I’ve got this’ and I’m think­ing it’s end of tour­na­ment time. He ac­tu­ally over-hooked it and it caught the slope and ran onto the front of the green. A shot I’ll never for­get.”

AN­DREW ‘BEEF’ JOHN­STON 2016 Span­ish Open Cham­pion

The shot: “It was at Oak­mont (2016 US Open) I think it was Pa­trick Rodgers, he hit one of the best putts I’ve ever seen, ever. It was the 9th hole and they put the pin on the right and he was front left. I mean it was a 60-foot putt, but he’s got to putt it across like two tiers and any­thing that goes past the hole is ba­si­cally go­ing o‘ the green. I putted it o‘ the green from 30-foot, some­one else nearly putted it o‘ the green from 15-foot, and he was about 60-foot away. And Rodgers has hit this putt across the green and its gone like past the hole, over a ridge and sort of just got over the hill and he has knocked it to like lit­er­ally tap in, and I mean it was ridicu­lous. There is no way he could do it again.”

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