Quick 9: Greatest ever clutch putts
It’s at pivotal moments in a tournament that the best golfers stand up and prove their mettle. So many times we have seen golfers sink clutch putts and that has given them the boost they needed to get over the line.
Some people may think holing a long, decisive putt is largely based on luck, others will say it takes great skill.
Take a look at our top nine greatest ever clutch putts and decide which side you come down on.
9. Graeme McDowell, 2010 Ryder Cup
Graeme McDowell had won his first major at the US Open at Pebble Beach just months before the Ryder Cup and went in with fine spirit. Little did he know he’d also hole the most crucial putt of them all.
It had been a rain washed event and the singles had to be played on the Monday. It was also the first Ryder Cup held in Wales.
Europe were leading 9.5 to 6.5 going in to the final day and avoided a scare as USA fought back to get the contest at 13-13 with McDowell playing Hunter Mahan in the final match.
Mahan needed to win the final two holes to retain the Ryder Cup for USA as he was two down with two to play.
McDowell weathered the storm and holed the downhill putt that secured the Ryder Cup for Europe and with in seconds the 17th green was flooded with European fans.
8. Tiger Woods, 2008 Bay Hill
If you’d want any professional standing over a putt on Bay Hill’s 18th hole then it’d be Tiger Woods. The 14 time major champion has now won the tournament eight times and certainly knows his ways around the greens.
Tiger faced a 24 foot putt for birdie to win the tournament at Bay Hill for what would be title number six.
He was level with Bart Bryant on nine under par. Bryant was sat in the markers hut holding the clubhouse lead after shooting a final round 67.
It was simple. Tiger needed to hole the putt to win or two putt to force a play-off. He hit the putt and you just knew it was going to drop. The ball was hit with the perfect pace, on the perfect line and dropped on the last roll.
Bryant shook his head as if to say he didn’t expect anything less. Tiger celebrated by throwing his cap on the floor and that famous fist pump made an appearance.
7. Jordan Spieth, 2015 US Open
Jordan Spieth had already won the first major of the year and was in fine form going in to the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay.
The Texan had worked a two-shot lead going to the par 4 16th hole where he had 25 feet for a birdie. The 2015 Masters champion holed the left to right swinging putt to open a three shot lead.
He soon surrendered that lead has he three putted the 17th hole.
It was down to Dustin Johnson on the final hole of the tournament, who had two putts to win his first major title.
Johnson ended up three putting to hand Spieth the trophy and it made the Texan the first player to win the Masters and the US Open in the same year since Tiger Woods in 2002.
6. Martin Kaymer, 2012 Ryder Cup
He almost messed the situation up, so it’s not as clutch as some of the other ones on the list but Martin Kaymer may have won two major championships but he will forever be remembered for this moment.
He had two putts to win the Ryder Cup for Europe but rinsed his first putt past the hole.
With the eyes of the golfing world watching him Kaymer stood over an eight foot putt to retain the Ryder Cup for Europe and complete one of the greatest comebacks in golfing history.
The putt sparked scenes of relief and pure joy in the European camp as Jose Maria Olazabal and his team dedicated the come back to the late Seve Ballesteros.
5. Colin Montgomerie, 2006 US Open
Oh Monty, apologies for bringing up one of your Major near-misses but it’s for something positive you did at Winged Foot, I swear!
The Scot was three shots behind leaders Kenneth Ferrie and Phil Mickelson heading into the final round of the 2006 US Open.
The top end of the leaderboard was heavily congested at the New York course during on Sunday, with first place swapping hands on several occasions.
Montgomerie made his move on the 17th in spectacular fashion, holing a 75-foot bomb to draw level at the top with Mickelson.
What followed afterwards will have haunted (and probably still does) many of Monty’s dreams.
Following a great drive, Montgomerie double-bogeyed the 18th to finish tied for second, one stroke behind winner Geoff Ogilvy.
But there is always this putt, Monty…
4. Jack Nicklaus, 1975 Masters
The 1975 Masters was a battle between three heavyweights – Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller and Tom Weiskopf.
In the final round, Nicklaus started the day one stroke behind Weiskopf, while Miller was three behind Nicklaus and four off Weiskopf.
The three players traded strokes throughout the contest but everything changed when Nicklaus lined up a 40-foot putt on the 16th.
The ball curled into the cup for a birdie and the Golden Bear leapt into the air with delight.
Miller and Weiskopf, who were in the group behind, watched from the 16th tee as Nicklaus dealt the killer blow.
He would go on to win by one stroke ahead of his two rivals.
3. Costantino Rocca, 1995 Open
Costantino Rocca is Italy’s most successful ever male golfer and, against the odds, he could have added a Major title to his CV at St Andrews in 1995.
Rocca needed a birdie on the 18th to force a play-off with John Daly, but he ran into trouble when he duffed his second shot into the Valley of Sin.
Daly watched Rocca’s mis-hit shot on a monitor and believed he had the championship in the bag.
But Rocca had a different idea. He sank his daunting 65-foot putt to force a play-off with the big-hitting American.
That was when Rocca’s luck ran out as he came home three-over-par in the four-hole shootout to hand Daly his second Major crown.
However, Rocco flopping down on the St Andrews turf in sheer delight after holing that putt was pure gold.
2. Paula Creamer, 2014 Women’s Champions
Following her victory at the 2010 US Women’s Open, Paula Creamer had to wait a long time before she could get her hands on another piece of silverware.
But the wait was well worth it in the end.
The American was locked in a play-off battle with Azahara Muñoz for the 2014 Women’s Champions title in Singapore.
On the second play-off hole, Creamer faced a monstrous 75-foot putt to a pin that was on a raised part of the green.
Anyone would be delighted to two-putt from that distance, but Creamer trickled the ball into the hole to claim a sensational victory.
Top marks for the celebration.
1. Ben Crenshaw, 1984 Masters
Popular American Ben Crenshaw was two strokes behind Tom Kite heading into the final round of the 1984 Masters but drew level with his fellow countryman on the 8th hole with a birdie.
Another birdie followed on the 9th to take the lead and he capped it off with a jaw-dropping 60-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole to go two clear at the top.
And nobody could catch him as he finished on 11-under-par, two shots ahead of Tom Watson.
Take a bow, Ben!
WERE THESE CLUTCH PUTTS MAINLY JUST LUCK OR DID THEY TAKE GREAT SKILL?
LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW