Throwback Thursday: Tiger turns it on at Jack's place

The Scoop

Is this one of Tiger Woods' greatest ever shots? NCG looks back to 2012 and how the 14-time major champion got the job done for a fifth win at Muirfield Village

The background

Tiger Woods was trailing Rory Sabbatini by two shots with four holes to play at the 2012 Memorial Tournament.

With a birdie at the par-5 15th, Tiger headed to the 16th hole – a long par 3 over the water – just one shot adrift.

The scene

Tiger pulled 8-iron from 205 yards, which landed in the middle of the green but took a firm bounce and rolled into the thick rough over the back.

With the green running rapidly from back-to-front towards the water hazard, Tiger faced an incredibly tough chip.

“He’s going to have to go vertical with the super high lob and just take his chances. But I’d say anything inside of six feet would be a wonderful shot,” said Peter Kostis.

Sure enough, Tiger opened up the blade of his 60-degree wedge and took a full swing, landing the ball inch perfect on the front edge of the green, allowing it to trickle down towards the hole.

Just as it started to look like it was going to miss on the right hand side, the ball just caught the right edge and dropped for the unlikeliest of birdies.

The legacy

Tiger would go on to birdie the 18th hole and win by two shots to Andres Romero and Rory Sabbatini.

“Under the circumstances, the circumstances being Tiger has been struggling, he found himself in a position in a tournament, and it was either fish or cut bait. He had one place to land the ball, he’s playing a shot that if he leaves it short, he’s going to leave himself again a very difficult shot; if he hits it long, he’s going to probably lose the tournament,” Nicklaus, the tournament host, said.

“He lands the ball exactly where it has to land. It doesn’t make a difference whether it went in the hole or not.  Going in the hole was a bonus. But what a shot. I don’t think under the circumstances I’ve ever seen a better shot.”

Woods will be going for his sixth win at Muirfield Village this week, as he returns to Jack’s place for the first time since 2015.

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