Tiger Woods may not be the force he was once on the golf course – there are even questions marks about whether he will ever compete again – but it’s still worth remembering that he is one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Many, myself included, believed that Woods, who turned 40 last month, would eventually surpass Jack Nicklaus‘ record of 18 Major titles. But now it seems that the American faces a battle to just get back playing again.
Woods has not played since having back surgery during September and October.
And while the former world No.1 golfer has said he wants to get back to playing at the highest level again, he has reconciled himself to the fact that his injuries may prevent it from happening.
For all his well publicised off-field issues, the majority of golf fans want to see one of the all-time best golfers back to his best again.
Here are five of Woods’ greatest ever shots to help you remember what made him such a special player – and why he inspired so many youngsters to take up the sport.
5. 1997 Phoenix Open
A fresh-faced Woods lined up his shot on the par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale during the Phoenix Open. Scores of fans eagerly awaited to see what the young gun could produce. They weren’t disappointed. The ball bounced right in front of the hole, took another small bounce and plopped straight into the hole. Cue the celebrations.
4. 2008 US Open
My chipping game is as subtle as an elephant attempting to gatecrash a party held exclusively for mice, so I can fully appreciate Woods’ cheeky chip at the 2008 US Open held at Torrey Pines in California. But Woods, who won the tournament, looks almost embarrassed when his chip bounces once and then drops into the hole.
3. 2000 Canadian Open
Mere mortals would not even think about attempting the shot that Woods pulled out of the bag at the 2000 Canadian Open, or they might go for it and see their shot fly into the water.
Woods’ drive on the par-5 18th at Glen Abbey found the sand but the eventual winner of the tournament used the favourable lie to his advantage and hammered a 6-iron shot over the water and close to the green.
Take a bow, son!
2. 2001 Players Championship
Putts don’t come much better than this. Woods, who won the event at the iconic TPC Sawgrass in Florida, faced a treacherous downhill putt on the famed 17th island green. However, that didn’t faze Woods as his shot trickled towards the hole in a moment of sheer brilliance.
1. 2005 Masters
There is only one winner when it comes to Woods’ greatest shot of all time. His chip from the edge of the 16th green at Augusta is considered by many to be the best golf shot ever.
Woods birdied the hole on his way to victory at the Major, 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.