November 13, 2009
We're at the end of the decade of the 2000s, and it's time to look back on some of golf's most amazing achievements over that span. Today, we focus on the most amazing PGA shots of the last 10 years. Sit back and relax, this one's going to be fun. [UPDATED by popular demand!]
1. Tiger Woods, 2005 Masters, 16th hole. "In your life, have you seen anything like that?" Nope. Never. Beautiful.
2. Shaun Micheel's approach, 2003 PGA Championship, 18th hole. One of the most impressive shots ever to clinch a major championship, it was instantly ranked the "shot of the decade" by many pundits. Of course, that was before Tiger's shot above, but no. 2 is still a good spot, yes?
3. Y.E. Yang's approach, 2009 PGA Championship, 18th hole. It wasn't until Yang hit this beautiful approach shot that his surprising victory over Tiger Woods became complete.
4. Phil Mickelson's seeing-eye approach shot, 2008 Colonial, 18th hole. How Phil put this shot where he did will forever remain a mystery, but he won the tournament with an approach for the ages.
5. Padraig Harrington's second shot, 2008 British Open, 17th hole. With the Claret Jug in sight, Harrington unleashed one of the prettiest golf shots in memory against howling winds. Anybody else, this ball would have ended up out of bounds; the way Harrington was playing, it nestled up to the flag.
6. Tiger Woods, bunker shot, 18th hole, 2002 PGA Championship. You probably don't remember this shot, and we don't even have video of it, but it's here for one reason: Tiger has ranked it as the No. 1 shot he's ever hit in his professional career. He was 202 yards out, in a fairway bunker, facing 20-mph wins. The ball sat below his feet, and he had to clear trees and hook it to put it onto the green. Naturally, he put it to within 12 feet of the hole. The shot came in the second round of the championship, and Woods didn't win; Rich Beem did. Even so, this shot ranks as one of the finest of his career.
7. Phil Mickelson's final putt, 2004 Masters, 18th hole. In 2004, Phil Mickelson stood over an 18-foot birdie putt that had the potential to change his life. On the 18th at Augusta, with his first major finally within reach, Mickelson tapped the putt just enough that it caught the edge of the cup and dropped, giving him -- at last -- a green jacket. It was the most important putt of his life, and he nailed it.
8. Tiger Woods, 2008 Open, 18th hole. This was the putt that put him in the playoff with Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines. You knew this was going in, and so did Rocco.
9. David Toms' ace, 2001 PGA Championship, 15th hole. Toms held off Phil Mickelson to win his first major, and no shot was more critical than his ace in the third round on the 15th at the Atlanta Athletic Club. He was trailing Mickelson by a shot, but that ace -- at 243 yards, the longest ever recorded by a major champion -- proved to be the difference in the tournament.
10. Geoff Ogilvy's chip, 2006 U.S. Open, 17th hole. Phil Mickelson threw open the door by falling apart on the 18th at Winged Foot, but Ogilvy couldn't have taken advantage were it not for this beautiful chip on 17:
Bonus! We had so many demands for Craig Parry's hole-out to win the 2004 Doral, we had to include it. Slot it in wherever you like.
All right, your turn. What did we miss? Where do your favorite shots of the 2000s slot in? Have at it!