Welcome to Teeing Off, where Devil Ball editor Shane Bacon and national columnist Jay Busbee take a day's topic and smack it all over the course. Suggest a future topic by hitting us on Twitter at@shanebacon and @jaybusbee. Today we talk about the best final hole celebrations of all time.
Bacon: On Sunday at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Billy Horschel faced a putt he had hit plenty of times in his life. Laying in bed daydreaming, on the practice green as a kid and maybe even in junior tournaments imagining this wasn't just for a small trophy but for a huge PGA Tour win. Horschel drained it, and his celebration was as incredible as his 72 holes to snag his first PGA Tour title. With Horschel's celebration coming on the heels of what Adam Scott did on the 18th hole at Augusta National just a few weeks back, I ask you, what golf celebration stands out to you as the best ever?
Busbee: Oh, where to begin? I have a soft spot for Arnold Palmer slinging his visor at the end of the US Open in 1960:
The absolute exultation there is palpable half a century later. What, to you, makes a great celebration? I think you've got to break out of the usual staid golf mold, but you've got to do it in a way that doesn't embarrass yourself. It's a tightrope, one that (I'd assume) is tough to walk in the heat of celebration. Your thoughts?
Bacon: I think the Palmer one is incredible, and the Jack Nicklaus putter raise in 1986 at Augusta would probably top everything if it happened on the 18th green, but I almost feel like Tiger Woods on the 72nd hole at Torrey Pines is the best one I've ever seen. Both arms fist pumping, his face to the sky, giving it his all on basically one leg. Do we have a battle between old school and new school here?
Busbee: What, no Phil Mickelson two-inch vertical at the Masters? How dare you, sir! Yeah, I agree, Tiger's at Torrey is right there. That's once-in-a-lifetime exultation, even for Woods. But how about Payne Stewart at the US Open in 1999?
Where does that one fit in? Obviously, it's got the weight of tragedy behind it. Seeing that now is tough to watch knowing what was to come. Like a tournament, a celebration is inextricable from the storyline surrounding the tournament.
Bacon: I think we have a pretty good list going. Payne was incredible, Tiger was solid, Arnie, Phil and Adam Scott were memorable, and let us not forget Mark O'Meara with both hands raised as his putt dropped on 18 at Augusta for his first major championship.
Are we forgetting anything? Hal Sutton at the Players? David Love III under the rainbow? Nicklaus tossing his putter in the air at the '80 British? Nick Faldo at the 1989 Masters? Everything that has ever happened at the Ryder Cup? All so much fun to go back and think about.
Busbee: When you or I ever get a hole-in-one, we'll have a celebration that will blow away any of these. Screaming to the heavens, slinging my putter like Thor's hammer, dancing the Macarena/Gangnam Style/whatever, I'm gonna do it all.
Bacon: I actually think my celebration would be calmer. I'd be so surprised the Bacon Curse was history (nobody in my immediate family has ever made an ace despite spending wayyy too much time on the golf course) that I feel like I'd react like a dad finding out he was having triplets.
Busbee: I hope it happens soon for you, sir. The ace, not the triplets.