As is typically the case, the PGA Tour’s best provided an abundance of shots in 2022 that reminded us all just how great the best players in the world are.
From beer raining down in Scottsdale to major championship clinchers, here are the top 10 shots on the PGA Tour in 2022.
10. Luke List, playoff, Farmers Insurance Open
List turned professional in 2007, yet was still looking for his first Tour win in January at Torrey Pines. An electric final round saw List head into a playoff with Will Zalatoris (also seeking his first victory), and the Vanderbilt alum was ready for his moment in the limelight. After the two found the same fairway bunker off the tee at the par-5 18th on Torrey’s difficult South Course and were forced to lay up, List grabbed a wedge and spun one off the ridge that divides the green, leaving himself a tap-in birdie to claim his first Tour trophy after 15 years as a pro.
9. Sam Ryder, third round, WM Phoenix Open
It is THE par 3 every year on the PGA Tour. No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale feels a little different during the third round, when thousands upon thousands of fans pack themselves into the stadium surrounding the “party hole” and hope for that magic moment. That moment came in 2022, when Ryder made a hole-in-one, unleashing chaos that could be heard across the Grand Canyon. Beer rained down as the crazed fans created a moment Ryder will never forget.
8. Viktor Hovland, second round, The Open
Hovland has had a remarkably successful start to his professional career, already amassing three PGA Tour wins, two DP World Tour wins and back-to-back titles at the Hero World Challenge, but until The Open at St. Andrews he had yet to find success in the majors. In fact, he hadn’t recorded a top-10 in a major when he headed to the Old Course. That changed with his T-4 finish at, arguably, the tournament of the year in men’s professional golf, which included the highlight of his season on the 15th hole in Friday’s second round. After missing the fairway with his tee shot, Hovland was in a difficult position as he looked to attack a front-right pin that sat just over a ridge. Attack, he did. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy sent his approach into the sky and watched as it made its way to the bottom of the cup for an eagle that propelled Hovland to a second-round 66.
7. Rory McIlroy, third round, The Open
This shot would certainly be higher on the list had McIlroy gone on to win at St. Andrews, but it was still one of the most rousing moments of the year. Trailing Hovland by one as he made the turn Saturday afternoon at the Old Course, the 23-time Tour winner was faced with a difficult bunker shot at the short par-4 10th. The result was a hole-out eagle, with a reaction that reverberated throughout Scotland.
6. Rory McIlroy & Collin Morikawa, final round, the Masters
Time to break the rules with a two-for-one entry. There was a lot to remember about this year’s Masters: Tiger Woods’ return, Scottie Scheffler’s chip-in, Rae’s Creek claiming another victim at the 12th, and Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa finishing in style at the 72nd green. The Northern Irishman was up first, settling into the right greenside bunker and splashing his third shot onto the ridge dividing the 18th green, down the slope and curling into the hole. The celebration matched the moment, with McIlroy throwing his club down, raising his arms and celebrating with the army of fans.
As the mayhem began to settle, Morikawa stepped in the same bunker and somehow managed the same result, sending the crowd into an even bigger frenzy as two of the game’s most popular players shared a smile and an embrace on golf’s biggest stage.
5. Justin Thomas, playoff, PGA Championship
Thomas was seemingly out of it at Southern Hills when he made the turn Sunday afternoon. Mito Pereira looked like he might run away with it, and there were a slew of other names on the leaderboard between JT and Pereira. After a back-nine charge that got him into a playoff with Will Zalatoris, Thomas stepped on the tee at the short, par-4 17th, and let loose a 3-wood that would find the putting surface and thrust him to a second Wanamaker trophy.
4. Keegan Bradley, Day 2, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
It’s easy for a punch shot on a Thursday in March to get lost in the shuffle as major championship season takes the spotlight, but Bradley’s heroics at Austin Country Club are worth another look. The 2011 PGA champion was 1 down to Adam Scott as the two played the par-4 18th, and Bradley was in trouble off the tee. After blocking his tee shot into the right rough, his only option was to send a low runner between two trees and hope he got the distance right. The execution was flawless, as the ball rolled onto the back collar of the green and down a steep slope to a few feet, giving Bradley the hole and a tie in the match. On-course reporter John Wood, who has caddied four times in the finals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship, called it one of the “top 3 shots I’ve ever seen in my life.”
3. Hideki Matsuyama, playoff, Sony Open
It didn’t take long for the Japanese superstar to pull off one of the best shots of the year, getting on the board at just the second Tour stop of 2022. Matsuyama stood over a 3-wood on Waialae Country Club’s par-5 18th having just forced a playoff with Russell Henley after shooting 63-63 on the weekend. Staring into the Hawaii sunset, the 2021 Masters champion sent a high cut barreling toward the flagstick, ultimately coming down from 277 yards as if it landed on a pillow. The ball gently rolled to within 3 feet of the hole, where Matsuyama tapped in for eagle and his eighth Tour win.
2. Scottie Scheffler, final round, the Masters
Scheffler began the final round at the Masters with a three-shot lead, but that quickly dwindled to one after he began his round with a pair of pars and his playing competitor, Cam Smith, opened with back-to-back birdies. It looked as though things would get even worse for the former Longhorn after his tee shot at the par-4 third hooked well left of the fairway, finishing in the trees on the pine straw. He couldn’t get his second shot to the putting surface, leaving himself a difficult pitch from an awkward yardage up the steep slope that guards the front of the green. Then, the No. 1 player in the world hit the shot of his life. He elected to bump his third into the slope, sending it rolling onto the green and into the hole for an unlikely birdie that turned his Sunday around, sending him to his first major championship victory.
1. Matthew Fitzpatrick, final round, U.S. Open
The moment. The difficulty. The pressure. The execution. The par-4 18th at The Country Club is a beast, and not the hole you want to be playing as you protect a one-shot lead in search of not only a first major championship, but a first PGA Tour triumph. That’s the situation Fitzpatrick was in on an overcast Sunday in June, as playing competitor, Will Zalatoris, looked to tie things up and send the U.S. Open to a playoff. The Englishman hooked his tee shot into a fairway bunker, where his ball settled just behind an island of grass that sits in the middle of the Massachusetts sand. From there, Fitzpatrick elected to play the hero shot, sending a 9-iron over the lip of the bunker and cutting toward the middle of the green. The ball would settle some 20 feet behind the hole, leading to a one-shot win and a career-defining highlight for Fitzpatrick.