Tiger Woods won his fourth Masters Tournament in 2005. On the 16th hole in his final round, he sank a chip shot from the right rough in the most iconic moment of his career. In a new interview with Golf Digest, Tiger’s caddie Steve Williams revealed some details behind the shot that make it look even more incredible.
At the time Woods had a one-stroke lead over playing partner Chris DiMarco, whom Tiger would eventually beat in a playoff. DiMarco had 15 feet for birdie while Woods hit his tee shot on the par-3 into the rough.
CBS commentator Lanny Wadkins called it “one of the toughest pitches on the entire [course]” and speculated that because of the thicker rough sitting just behind Tiger’s ball, he would have a hard time getting the ball within 15 feet of the hole. There was also the threat of having the ball roll off the green and into the bunker.
Woods got the ball up in the air, it landed on the hill, slowly rolled down to the hole where it rested on the edge for a moment … and then fell in for a birdie with commentator Verne Lundquist yelling, “OH WOW!” (1:20 mark of this video).
When Tiger recalled the shot, he spoke about remembering a similar shot made in a previous year by Davis Love III and needing to aim for a strip of light in between the shadows. But Woods’ former caddie says there was more to it than that.
In an interview with Golf Digest, Williams says Tiger was actually aiming for an old ball mark the size of a dime and that he hit it perfectly on the fly.
“There’s more to that Tiger hole-out than you probably know. After Tiger inspected the green and was walking back to his ball, he pointed out an old ball mark on the green. It was the size of a dime, almost fully healed, practically invisible. He said, ‘You think if I hit that spot, it will take the slope without going into the bunker?’ … I told him I liked that play. He then hit that old ball mark exactly, from 20 feet away from a tough lie. That the ball went in the hole was sort of a miracle, but hitting the old ball mark on the fly was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.”
Fighting for the lead with three holes to play in the biggest tournament in the world and Woods hit a bullseye under terrible conditions.
10 years ago, Tiger Woods holed out on No. 16 in dramatic fashion. Watch this historic shot from a different angle. https://t.co/5bnny62LBO
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 5, 2015
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