Micheel's 7-iron evokes memories of 'Grand Slam Bag'


PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Shaun Micheel wandered over to the left side of Oak Hill’s 18th fairway on Sunday to see, not swing.

A decade ago Micheel made history when he hoisted his 7-iron approach high into the upstate sky and to within inches of the cup to secure his first, and to date only, PGA Tour title at the PGA Championship.

“Two guys were standing there, and I wanted to hit a 6 (iron), but they wouldn't let me hit a 6, so I hit a 7 and came up 10 yards short of the green,” Micheel said on Tuesday at Oak Hill.

Many say Micheel’s final approach shot at the 2003 PGA is the greatest 7-iron ever hit in a major championship, which begs the question – if you went through the bag what would be the 13 other Grand Slam “bests?”

“Whatever 14 clubs Tiger had in the bag in 2000 (at the U.S. Open),” Zach Johnson smiled early Tuesday.

GolfChannel.com took a tad more scientific approach, polling players, caddies and officials to come up with the Grand Slam bag:

Driver. Arnold Palmer’s tee shot at Cherry Hills’ first hole during Round 4 at the 1960 U.S. Open. Palmer began the final round in 15th place and mentioned to Pittsburgh Press golf writer Bob Drum during lunch that, “If I drive (the first) green, I could shoot a hell of a score. I might even shoot a 65. What'll that do?”

“Nothing,” Drum told him. “You're too far back.”

'Well, it would give me a 280. Doesn't 280 always win the Open?” asked Palmer, who drove the first, closed with a 65 and won with a 280 total.

3-wood. Phil Mickelson’s second shot at the par-5 17th hole during the final round at last month’s Open Championship. “I hit two of the best 3-woods I ever hit on that hole,” Mickelson said of the 260-yard shot that set up a two-putt birdie.

4-wood. Gene Sarazen’s shot heard around the world at the 15th hole for double eagle during the 1935 Masters didn’t win the green jacket, but it certainly paved the way for the Squire.

5-wood. Padraig Harrington’s second shot into the 71st hole from 272 yards at the 2008 Open Championship. In his quest for his second consecutive Open title, the Irishman’s second bounded onto the green, ran up a ridge and stopped 4 feet away for an eagle and a four-shot cushion.

Hybrid (3-iron). Y.E. Yang’s second shot from 210 yards into the 72nd hole at the 2009 PGA Championship to complete his upset victory over Tiger Woods at Hazeltine National. “It just went as true as I tried to hit it,” he said.

1-iron. Ben Hogan’s approach shot into the final hole at the 1950 U.S. Open. It should be noted that the Hawk’s approach set up a two-putt par at the last that forced a playoff with Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio, but it is still the most iconic 1-iron ever hit.

4-iron. Justin Rose’s final approach at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion. Although the Englishman missed the green, considering the pressure and Sunday’s pin he called it the greatest shot he’s ever hit.

5-iron. From 191 yards Jerry Pate roped his approach to 2 feet at the final hole during the 1976 U.S. Open at Atlanta Athletic Club. Pate wanted to hit 4-iron, but his caddie talked him into the 5-iron and, some would say, victory.

6-iron. Mickelson’s second shot into the par-5 13th hole on Sunday at the 2010 Masters. Lefty weaved this gem between the trees and off the pine straw, but the best part of the story is that his caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay tried to talk Mickelson out of the shot not once, but twice.

7-iron. Shaun Micheel’s walk-off into the final hole to inches at the ’03 PGA to beat Chad Campbell. The one-time Tour winner may not be a legend, but he covered his final 173 yards like one at Oak Hill.

Sand wedge. Tom Watson’s chip-in for birdie on the 71st hole at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. From a tough lie behind the green and locked in a duel with Jack Nicklaus, Watson told caddie Bruce Edwards before hitting the chip he was going to hole it. Nothing like calling your shot.

Gap wedge (52 degree). Bubba Watson’s carving approach at the second playoff hole during the 2012 Masters. From the woods right of the fairway, Watson hooked his approach some 50 yards to 15 feet to claim the green jacket. “I told my caddie, I said, ‘If I have a swing, I've got a shot,’” Watson said.

Lob wedge (60 degree). Tiger Woods’ chip in for birdie at the 16th hole on Sunday at the 2005 Masters.  “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,” Woods said.

Putter. Jack Nicklaus during his final nine holes at the 1986 Masters. Pick a putt, any of them on that closing loop of 30 were historic, but based on the emotion of the moment his par putt to seal his fate as the greatest to ever play the game is pretty good.