Quick 9: Best clutch shots

The Scoop

Following Ian Poulter's miraculous shot at the Players Championship, we look at some of golf's greatest clutch shots...

He may have come up agonisingly short at this year’s Players Championship, but Ian Poulter announced his return to the golf’s top table with the most spectacular of clutch shots.

The Englishman, who almost didn’t have a PGA Tour card this season, bounced back from the darkest spell of his career with an outstanding tied-2nd finish at TPC Sawgrass.

But his golfing revival will be best remembered for that sensational recovery shot from the trees on the 18th hole during the final round.

In danger of dropping dramatically down the leaderboard, Poulter held his nerve to pull off an unbelievable clutch shot.

Pouter’s heroics got us thinking: what are the best clutch shots from down the years?

9. Tiger Woods, 2000 Canadian Open

Many people consider this to be one of Woods’ greatest ever shots.

The fresh-faced youngster landed his drive in the bunker on the par-5 18th at Glen Abbey and then did something unexpected. Happy with his lie, Woods smashed a 6-iron towards the green and over the water protecting the green.

The ball landed on the fringe but that doesn’t matter when you consider the sheer guts it took for Woods to take the shot on.

The 14-time major winner would win the tournament by one stroke ahead of Grant Waite.

8. Phil Mickelson, 2008 Crowne Plaza Invitational

Lefty’s hopes of clinching another PGA Tour title looked in serious trouble when he fired his tee shot on the 72nd hole behind some trees.

But the short-game master dinked a wedge over the trees and onto the putting surface to set up a winning birdie putt.

Shout out to the bloke in the crowd at 0:32 for flinging himself into the water. Clearly no one else in the crowd got the memo.

7. Jordan Spieth, 2013 John Deere Classic

Seemingly out of the contest at TPC Deere Run, a fresh-faced Spieth needed to sink a tricky bunker shot in order to force a play-off with Zach Johnson and David Hearn.

He did just that and, in doing so, would go on to earn his first win professional at the age of just 19, the fourth youngest PGA Tour winner.

6. Tiger Woods, 2005 Masters

Woods’ chip from the edge of the 16th green at Augusta is considered by many to be his greatest ever moment.

Woods birdied the hole on his way to victory at the Masters, with the championship decided by a play-off against Chris DiMarco.

His incredible chip saw the ball land around 20 feet away from the hole but it then started creeping closer and stopped agonisingly on the edge of the hole before dramatically toppling in.

A truly remarkable shot at such an important moment.

5. Padraig Harrington, 2008 Open Championship

Harrington was faced with a dilemma on the 17th hole at Royal Birkdale.

The Irishman was two shots clear of the chasing pack on the 17th hole and standing over his second shot in the swirling wind, he had to decide whether to risk going for the green with his second shot, or play it safe and lay up.

Harrington took many people by surprise and pulled a wood out of his bag.

His gutsy attempt ended up just four feet from the pin and he would drain the following putt for a vital eagle.

4. Shaun Micheel, 2003 PGA Championship

Micheel isn’t exactly a name that instantly springs to mind when thinking of major winners, but the surprise 2003 PGA champion pulled off an unbelievable clutch shot on his way to a massive underdog victory at Oak Hill.

The world No. 169 at the time was leading Chad Campbell by one stroke standing over his second shot on the par-4 18th.

Micheel fired a 7-iron to the raised green and watched it hop, skip and jump to just mere inches from the hole.

That shot would secure him his only PGA Tour victory to date.

3. Bill Haas, 2011 Tour Championship

Haas’ recovery shot from the water in an epic play-off battle with Hunter Mahon at the 2011 Tour Championship is perhaps one of the most lucrative in golf’s history.

$10 million was at stake for Haas as he chased the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup.

His hopes of glory came down to a play-off with Hunter Mahon.

Haas looked out of it on the second play-off hole when his shot from a fairway bunker trickled down the hill alongside the 17th green and wound up half-submerged in the water.

But he kept himself in the running with an astonishing shot that ended up close to the pin.

He would go on to win on the next play-off hole as Mahan failed to save par.

2. Phil Mickelson, 2010 Masters

Many golfers would have chosen to lay up when finding their ball on pine straw behind a tree and with the green protected by a stream.

But sometimes courage is needed when chasing the Green Jacket.

Mickelson showed no lack of bravery when attempting this risky shot on the way to his third Masters title.

1. Larry Mize, 1987 Masters

Considered to be one of the greatest endings to a major championship, Mize produced a chip shot masterclass to leave Greg Norman humbled.

The tournament boiled down to a sudden death play-off between Mize, Norman and Seve Ballesteros.

After Ballesteros bogeyed the first play-off hole, the par-4 10th, Mize and Norman continued to the par-4 11th.

Mize’s approach to the green landed well to the right, while the Shark’s ball was on the fringe of the putting surface.

Mize produced a career-defining chip shot that trickled towards the hole and fell in for a birdie.

Norman couldn’t replicate the American’s birdie heroics, leaving Mize to claim his only major title.

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