What was the best golf shot from the 76th Masters Tournament? That depends on how you define 'best.' GolfChannel.com's Randall Mell and Jason Sobel offer individual terms and differing opinions on who hit the best shot this year at Augusta National.
By RANDALL MELL
The best shot at this year’s Masters?
Louis Oosthuizen’s double eagle in the final round was a great shot, no doubt. So was Phil Mickelson’s flop shot at the 15th on Saturday, but they’ll be forgotten before Bubba Watson’s giant hooking gap wedge around the trees right of the 10th fairway. That great escape will go down in Masters’ lore as one of the best shots to win a green jacket. It will go down in major championship lore as one of the best to win a major. That shot onto the 10th green to set up Watson’s victory at the second playoff hole will be replayed in highlights as long as the Masters is played.
The best shot of this year’s Masters won’t be forgotten. It was so good and ultimately so much more meaningful than those other shots. That combination of factors makes it the best shot.
Ask this question again in 10 years, and it’s no contest. Time has a large say in what ultimately reigns as the best. Time will honor Bubba’s imagination, his skill, his bravado in pulling off the best shot of the 2012 Masters.
By JASON SOBEL
When it comes to the best pure golf shot of the recent Masters – the most singularly impressive, not the most important or significant or coolest under pressure – my vote goes to Phil Mickelson’s flop shot on the 15th hole in Round 3.
With his ball to resting dangerously to the right of the green on the par-5, Mickelson inspired a flurry of gasps from the gallery when he pulled his 64-degree wedge and took a few practice swings that showed what he was thinking. Finally, from a lie on the hardpan, he opened the wedge and hit it more high than long.
It was only a 15-yard shot, but may have floated 20 yards into the sky, dropping a mere 5 feet from the hole and stopping dead, much to the delight of the awed spectators.
“I took on a little risk,” Mickelson said afterward, “and that's a great example of why I put a 64-degree wedge in the golf bag on this golf course. It allows me to slide underneath it off tight lies, pop the ball up on a situation like that. I don't like to hit the lob shot a lot here.”
Obviously, there were other candidates. Louis Oosthuizen’s albatross was just the fourth in Masters history, but at least two other players – Matt Kuchar and Bo Van Pelt – came within inches of having one of their own on Sunday, leading us to believe there’s more than a little luck involved in having that one drop in the hole.
Bubba Watson’s 40-yard hooked wedge shot in the playoff will forever remain more significant, because it won him the tournament – as well it should.
Give me Lefty’s flop in a tight call over both of ‘em, though. It didn’t have the same impact on the final result as the other two, but I’ll take it as best pure shot for the simple reason that I don’t think there’s a single golfer in the world who either has the guts to try it or the talent to pull it off.