No other major championship has a greater collection of signature shots than the Masters. Here’s our list of the five greatest shots in the tournament’s history...
5. JACK NICKLAUS IN 1986
Charging up the back nine, Nicklaus’s 30 carried him to his sixth green jacket. If there was a signature moment, it happened on the par-3 16th.
He hit a 5-iron, and as the ball was still climbing, Nicklaus stooped to pick up the tee – partly because he couldn’t see so well, partly because he knew he hit it how he wanted.
His son, Jackie, was caddying for him and said, “Be right.” Nicklaus replied, “It is.” And it was.
The ball landed right of the pin and trickled down, narrowly missing a hole-in-one and leaving him a short birdie putt that he converted on his way to victory.
4. SANDY LYLE IN 1988
Sandy, in a tight battle with Mark Calcavecchia, was tied for the lead going to the last hole, knowing he would need a birdie to win.
He hit a 1-iron into the first of two bunkers down the left side of the fairway but then delivered one of the greatest shots on the closing hole at Augusta.His 7-iron covered the flag, landed beyond the pin and rolled back to 10 feet. Lyle made the birdie putt to become the first British player in a green jacket.
3. TIGER WOODS IN 2005
Tiger Woods, in a surprising duel along the back nine with Chris DiMarco, had a one-shot lead with three holes to play, and he looked in trouble when he went long on the par-3 16th hole, and DiMarco had a 15-foot birdie putt.
The pin was in its traditional Sunday position, and Woods was in the wrong spot. He had to play the chip away from the flag and catch the slope just right, hopefully without too much speed that it would run by the hole and leave himself a tough putt for par. After measuring the shot for the longest time, he sent his pitch up the slope, and it slowly made a U-turn toward the hole.
The ball broke gently to the left and looked like it might go in, except that it was slowing to a stop. One last turn left it on the edge of the cup. And after two full seconds, gravity took over and the ball disappeared.
Despite such a dramatic moment for a two-shot lead, Woods bogeyed the next two holes and had to make one last birdie in a play-off to win.
2. BUBBA WATSON IN 2012
Watson and Louis Oosthuizen headed to the tenth hole for the second play-off hole, and Watson was in trouble. He hit driver deep into the woods to the right of the fairway.
He hit a 40-yard hook with a sand wedge, low to get under the trees, then rising to get onto the elevated green. The ball somehow landed on the green with enough side spin to turn up the hill and settle about 10 feet away. Two putts later, Watson had his par - and a Green Jacket.
1. GENE SARAZEN IN 1935
Craig Wood was in the clubhouse at 6-under 282. Sarazen was in the fairway on the par-5 15th hole, three shots behind while playing with Walter Hagen.
Sarazen had a 4-wood that he called his “Dodo” club, and while he didn’t have a great lie, thought he should go for the green from 235 yards away. He tried to play it slightly off the toe to get a little extra distance, and the shot came off perfectly.
The ball bounced just short of the green, hopped on and rolled into the cup for an albatross. Sarazen closed with three pars to force a playoff, and he beat Wood over 36 holes the next day.
It remains the most important shot in tournament history because it put the Masters on the map.