Ten years ago Bubba Watson stunned the watching world with a piece of magic from a seemingly impossible position. But where does it stack up against five more other-worldly shots at Augusta?
Has it really been 10 years? It wasn’t just one of the best shots at the Masters, it was one of the most ridiculous even attempted in the competition’s storied history.
Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen had already tied the 18th hole as their sudden-death play-off got underway at Augusta.
And it looked like it would be a similar tale at the second hole – the par-4 10th – when both players hit poor drives from the tee.
Oosthuizen, who had already had a contender of his own earlier that day with an albatross at the par-5 2nd, could only find the front of the green while Watson, deep in the wooded area to the right of Camellia, would need to something spectacular to get even close to the putting surface.
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle.
The left-hander, hitting a 52-degree wedge from 144 yards, managed to hook his ball at an almost 90-degree angle to within 10 feet of the hole.
With Oosthuizen failing to get up and down, Watson was able to two putt his way to the first of two green jackets. Cue the waterworks.
So where does Watson’s 2012 effort sit among the best shots at the Masters? Here are five other contenders…
Gene Sarazen – 15th hole, 1935
‘The shot heard around the world’ that put the Masters – or the Augusta National Invitation as it was known then – on the map. Sarazen holed out from 235 yards for the tournament’s first ever albatross to force a play-off with Craig Wood that he’d eventually go on to win.
Larry Mize – 11th hole, 1987
Facing pre-tournament favourite Greg Norman in a play-off, Mize looked out of it when he misjudged his approach. But the Georgia native inexplicably chipped, sparking one of the best celebrations the patrons have ever witnessed and denying his Australian rival of the title he craved more than any other.
Sandy Lyle – 18th hole, 1988
There are incredible shots, then there are incredible shots that win you a tournament, and then there are incredible shots that mark your place in golf history. Lyle’s 7-iron from the fairway bunker on the last set up a birdie that saw him crowned the first Masters champion from Great Britain. Our tiny island would hold onto the Green Jacket until 1992.
Tiger Woods – 16th hole, 2005
If not the best shot ever played at the Masters, certainly the most famous. In your life have you seen anything like that?
Go on then, let’s have it from another angle…
Phil Mickelson – 13th hole, 2010
Just the mere mention of Augusta’s pine needles has us flashing back to Mickelson’s magic on the par-5 they call Azalea. Sublime stuff. The fact he missed the putt doesn’t even matter, as Lefty went on to win his second Green Jacket.
So there are the six contenders. Which is your favourite? Or have we missed one? Let us know in the comments below, or you can tweet us.