Woods Miracle Chip a Part of Masters Lore

By Associated PressApril 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The ball hung tantalizingly on the lip of the cup, stopping for two full seconds. Tiger Woods froze in his tracks, bent over almost as if in prayer.
 
For a moment, Augusta National stood still, too.
 
The shot was already brilliant. Now it was about to become a part of Masters lore.
 
As gravity finally took over and the ball toppled slowly into the hole, the murmur building from the crowd as the ball made its way down the slope on the 16th green became a giant roar.
 
Woods raised himself up, yelled and began high-fiving caddie Steve Williams, while thousands packed around the green did the same with whoever happened to be next to them.
 
They may not have seen Woods when he won his fourth green jacket a short time later with a playoff putt on the 18th hole. But they were there to see a shot that will live forever as one of the handful of defining moments in Masters history.
 
'Somehow an earthquake happened and it fell into the hole,' Woods said.
 
The shot had barely dropped when it was already being ranked among the most memorable of Masters moments, from Gene Sarazen's double eagle 4-wood in 1935 to Larry Mize's chip-in to beat Greg Norman in a playoff in 1987.
 
'I was just trying to throw the ball up there on the hill and let it feed down there and hopefully have a makeable putt,' Woods said. 'All of a sudden, it looked pretty good, and all of a sudden it looked like really good, and it looked like how could it not go in, and how did it not go in, and all of a sudden it went in.
 
'So, it was pretty sweet.'
 
DiMarco was making a run at Woods, who had a precarious one-shot lead as they stood on the tee of the 170-yard par 3 hole that has been so pivotal in so many Masters.
 
DiMarco had honors and hit a good shot about 15 feet beneath the hole. Woods landed long with his 8-iron, and his ball caught up against the edge of the second cut over the back of the green.
 
If DiMarco made his putt and Woods couldn't get up-and-down for par, the tournament that seemed to be his when he started the day with a string of four straight birdies might have been snatched from his grasp.
 
With one brilliant stroke, though, Woods walked off the green with a two-shot lead and enough of a cushion to still get into a playoff despite bogeys on the final two holes.
 
'I think under the circumstances it's one of the best I've ever hit ... only because of the turning point,' Woods said. 'If Chris makes his putt, I make bogey and all of a sudden it's a different ball game. All of a sudden I'm one back.'
 
Woods didn't have many options from the precarious spot his ball ended up beyond the green. He couldn't hit the ball directly at the hole because of the slope, so he looked way left to make the slope work for him.
 
Woods remembered Davis Love III making a similar shot in 1999, but his was more difficult because it was up against the deeper rough. Afraid he might hit it fat because of the lie, he told himself to hit it hard enough to get up the slope and take his chances from there.
 
Woods found a spot well left on the green where the fading sunlight was coming through the trees and took a few practice swipes with his wedge.
 
'A lot of it is luck but I hit it pretty good,' Woods said. 'I hit it right on the spot.'
 
The ball hit, checked up and caught the slope at just the right place before taking a right angle turn toward the hole. It was still about 25 feet left of the hole when it began rolling slowly toward the pin.
 
The ball began losing speed as it neared the hole, slowing almost so much that the word 'TIGER' could be read on the side. It made what seemed like two final turns, then stopped on the edge of the cup, teetering ever so slightly as if trying to defy gravity.
 
As thousands watching from greenside and millions others on television held their collective breath, it dropped into the cup and set off a raucous celebration.
 
'He made a great chip. Great imagination,' DiMarco said. 'I was over there expecting him to make it. You expect the unexpected.
 
'Unfortunately, it's not unexpected when he's doing it.'
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.