Masters Moment #2: The Chip In
It’s wild to think of golf in the same way we think of more mainstream sports. While golf is exciting, it is definitely more subdued when it comes to fandom. Golf shots rarely elicit the same reactions as a buzzer beater or a last minute touchdown. But if there was ever a shot that made fans jump out of their seats, it happened at the 2005 Masters.
Coming into the final round, Tiger Woods had blistered Augusta National the previous two days. A 66 and 65 in rounds two and three gave Tiger a three shot lead over Chris DiMarco. A fourth Green Jacket was being sized up in Butler Cabin for Tiger. But things didn’t really go as planned.
On the 16th hole, Woods led DiMarco by just one. After their tee shots, DiMarco had a reasonable look at birdie, while Woods was faced with a very difficult up and down.
Tiger then pulled off the defining shot of his career. Woods pitched his ball about 20 feet left of the hole and then let gravity take over. The ball made a sharp right turn and started heading towards the hole. The ball slowly crept over the edge of the hole. The ball hung on the lip for what seemed like an eternity. As Tiger crouched in disappointment and Nike executives salivated with delight, the Swoosh’d ball dropped for an improbable birdie. Uncle Verne Lundquist nearly wet himself, shouting, “in your life, have you seen anything like that?”
Turns out Woods needed that one. Although his lead was two, he stumbled down the stretch and Chris DiMarco did what he needed to do to force a playoff.
Eventually Woods slipped on yet another Green Jacket, but it wouldn’t have been possible without that chip in on 16.