9 Memorable Masters Moments (Videos)
“A tradition unlike any other.”
Kind of arrogant, but true. While golf is steeped in tradition from Pebble Beach to St. St. Andrews, no course or tournament pays tribute to the past with the jackets, the unchanging concession prices, and other controversial traditions. Well, it’s not all just a bunch of smoke. This is the alpha and omega of the PGA Tour because of what has happened here since time immemorial. On Sunday, Charl Schwartzel won this year’s competition, and managed to make some memorable moments of his own, including a 114 yard eagle, and birdies on the last four holes. In honor of his achievement, lets take a look back at 9 memorable masters moments.
9. Jose Olazabal Overcomes Arthritis
In 1999, Olazabal was two years removed from certain retirement as rheumatoid arthritis had rendered him almost unable to get out of bed. After seemingly miracle treatments with a new doctor, Olazabal was able to recapture his swagger for the victory. Which is inspirational enough. The fact that he was able to knock Greg Norman out of contention (this will be a theme in this list) was just the icing on the cake.
8. Larry Mize Pulls the Rug Out from Norman
1987 had the rare event of a three-man playoff featuring Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, and Larry Mize. Seve was eliminated after the first hole, and then there were two. It appeared to be all Norman as Larry Mize failed to make the green on his approach, but appearances can be deceiving. Mize, not feeling like making the walk, wedged in from 140 feet, taking the title and once again leaving Norman with his, uh, putter in his hands.
7. Hoch Chokes to Faldo’s Delight
When you’re two feet from the hole and you’re opponent is not, you’ve got to like your chances. Well, you can like the chances, but not necessarily the outcome. In 1989, Scott Hoch blew the putt four feet past the hole, and sank the return, but his failure to seal the deal right there would prove to be his demise as Nick Faldo took the tourney on the next hole.
6. Nicklaus Wins His Sixth
Twenty-five years ago, Jack Nicklaus once again teed off in Augusta, and once again took home the trophy. So what was so special about this one? Besides the fact that it was his sixth, Nicklaus was 46, hadn’t won ANY tourney in two years, and his best years were clearly behind him. Nicklaus himself said the back nine on Sunday were the best nine holes he’d ever played. And there’s no reason not to believe they’re among the best ever, given Jack’s pedigree.
5. Ben Crenshaw Plays Through Tragedy
In 1995, Ben Crenshaw was a pallbearer at his friend and golf mentor’s funeral. The next day, he took to the links in Augusta. Harvey Penick had recently worked with Ben on his putting technique. Penick would have been proud of Crenshaw’s performance. Crenshaw took the trophy and tearfully collapsed in his caddie’s arms on 18.
4. Tiger Owns All Four Titles at Once
Ten years ago, Tiger was far and away the most dominant golfer on the tour. Winning his third Masters meant that he held all four major titles at once. His drive on 18 came so close to the green that the extremely conservative board at Augusta decided to move the hole back 60 yards. When you get the guys from Augusta to jump, it marks the beginning of a new era.
3. Severiano Ballesteros Takes the Trophy across the Atlantic
It’s hard to believe that a European didn’t win the Masters until Seve took the field down in 1980. At the age of 23, his lead rollercoasted, but no one ever came closer than 3 on the final day. Since then, Tiger has eclipsed him as the most sensational phenom, but don’t forget that April in 1980 when Ballesteros was the man.
2. Greg Norman Blows The Masters
In 1996, Greg Norman once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory after going into the final day with a six-stroke lead, only to lose to Nick Faldo by 11. Suffering an 11-stroke swing in 18 holes of golf was such a trainwreck it made for one of the most compelling golf tales in recent history.
1. Tiger Takes A Bow And Shocks The World in 1997
The young upstart from Stanford had expectations to live up to walking into Augusta for the first time. Well, he took those expectations and demolished them, setting records for both best score and margin of victory (-18 and 12 strokes, respectively). He has blazed a legendary trail since then, but that performance has been perhaps the most iconic of his entire career. The new guard came in like a whirlwind and changed the face of golf in four days in April.