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5 Shots That Defined Golfing History

5 Shots That Defined Golfing History
By Balls Team Updated
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1 - Tiger’s Putt on 18th to win 2008 US Open

The shot: Tiger found himself on the green on the 72nd hole at the 2008 US Open, at Torrey Pines – he was faced with a 15 foot putt which broke slightly to his left. It needed to go in if he was to force a play-off with Rocco Mediate.

The history: He rolled home the putt and consequently won the play-off. What makes this story even more extraordinary is that Tiger won the competition on a broken leg with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Here’s how Tiger himself describes the putt: “I kept telling myself make a pure stroke, if it bounces in or out, so be it, at least I can hold my head up high and hit a pure stroke, I hit it exactly where I wanted it and it went in.”


2 - Ben Hogan’s 1-iron at the 1950 US Open

The shot: Requiring a par on the 72nd hole of the 1950 US Open at Merion, with a strong wind in his face, Hogan asked his caddie for a 1-iron from just over 200 yards away. The shot landed on the green - however he still needed to take two putts to force a play-off.

The history: We all know a 1-iron is infamously tricky to control, nevertheless Hogan hit the green setting up the two putts for par that got him into the playoff he would win against Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio.


The amazing thing about this story is that Hogan had limped his way around Merion only 16 months after he was involved in a head on collision with a bus that almost killed him!

Image provided by Your Golf Travel


3 - Martin Kaymer’s putt to win the 2012 Ryder Cup

The shot: Kaymer was faced with a 7 ½ foot putt on the 18th hole at Medinah – holing it would secure the 39th Ryder Cup for Europe. It didn’t have a lot of break – but he surely deserves all the plaudits, given the amount of pressure that the German was under.

The history: He made the putt and clinched the Ryder Cup for the Europeans completing a very unlikely victory; given that Europe’s biggest final-day comeback before the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ had been a meagre two points.


The overnight lead of 10-6 (held by USA) seemed impossible to overturn. At one point the United States was even 25-1 for the win – so there’s no doubting that this putt will go down in Ryder Cup history.

Think you could hole a 7 ½ putt under that kind of pressure? Take a look at how some celebrities and other pro golfers got on when they took on that challenge at Wentworth.



4 - Gene Sarazen’s double eagle at the 1935 Masters

The shot: Gene took out his 4-wood on the par-5 15th hole at Augusta, from 235 yards, and the ball went up and in the hole for a double eagle 2! This was the shot that would be forever known as “The shot heard around the world”.

The history: Gene later confessed that he was only hoping for a birdie on the hole - he was three shots back at the time. No-one could have predicted that he was going to hole it! The shot also lead him to later winning the tournament in a 36-hole play-off with Craig Wood the next day.


5 - Jack Nicklaus Putt 17th Masters

The shot: After a wayward drive The Golden Bear hit his approach to 18 feet on the 17th hole of the final round at the 1986 Masters. After much consideration Jack holed his putt to become the outright leader.

The history: The putt that fell on 17 at August National was (and still is) one of the most famous calls in golf history. Nicklaus knew he had made the putt before it fell, lifting his putter with his left hand as it dropped. He would go on to two putt for par on the last to post -9 and a one shot lead – his final Major Championship, at the age of 46 years & 82 days.



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