A Green Jacket earned at the Masters ranks among the most prized possessions for any professional golfer. the tradition and history associated with this PGA Tour major have included many dramatic finishes and incredible rallies. many of these moments have occurred on the 18th hole.
These 10 moments stand out as the best on the 18th hole:
1. Nicklaus wins his final major
When he came into the 1986 Masters, Jack Nicklaus had already passed his prime on the PGA Tour. he had not won a major since 1980 and, at 46 years old, Nicklaus did not look to be adding another one anytime soon. That all changed when he shot 65 in the final round and finished 9-under-par to win his 18th and final major. Nicklaus took the lead for good on the 17th hole after using an eagle on 15 and a birdie on 16 to charge to the top of the leaderboard. his putt for par on 18 sealed the victory, and it clinched a record sixth Masters' title for Nicklaus.
2. Norman's epic collapse
Greg Norman probably could have won many more majors in his prime if not for a series of final round collapses that plagued his PGA Tour career. the worst of the lot came at the 1996 Masters. Norman had a huge edge going into the final round, but could not hold onto it. he shot 6-over for the round and watched helplessly as Nick Faldo made a stunning rally to win another Green Jacket. Faldo began the day six shots off the lead, but the door opened for his comeback when Norman fell apart.
3. DiMarco forces a playoff
Tiger Woods had not won a major in two years when he took a final round lead at the 2005 Masters. Chris DiMarco trailed Woods by just a stroke with the final hole to play. DiMarco had a chance for birdie slip through his fingers when the ball bounced off the pin on a 14-foot shot and rolled 10 feet. Woods did not capitalize and missed on his putt for par that would have won. DiMarco sank his 10-foot putt and forced a playoff, which Woods eventually won on the first hole.
4. Woods wins his first green jacket
Nothing dramatic occurred on the final hole when Tiger Woods claimed the 1997 Masters title. Woods won by an incredible 12 strokes, and had the victory essentially clinched before the final round. But his victory was historic in many ways and changed the game of golf forever. he was the youngest Masters winner at 21 years old and the first African-American golfer to win at Augusta. Woods also set a scoring record by shooting an 18-under 270 through four rounds.
5. Palmer's gallery gaffe
Arnold Palmer had just about clinched the 1961 Masters title with a one-stroke lead over Gary Player and just no. 18 to play. Palmer started celebrating too quickly. he went over to the viewing gallery and shook hands with a friend before playing the hole. it broke Palmer's concentration, and he shot a double bogey to lose to Player by one stroke.
6. Lyle's bunker buster
Sandy Lyle went into the final hole tied at 6-under with Mark Calcavecchia. his drive nearly took him out of contention when it landed in a bunker. Lyle defied the odds and put his next shot within 10 feet of the cup on an amazing chip out of the bunker. a downhill birdie on his next shot clinched the title for Lyle in dramatic fashion.
7. Two stroke master
Palmer had a low moment in the 1961 Masters. his performance in the 1960 Masters, however, was one for the ages. he trailed Ken Venturi by two strokes late in the final round and needed some big shots to come up with a victory. Palmer did it in style. On his final two holes, he came away with a birdie each time. it was good enough to help him claim a Green Jacket by a single stroke.
8. Perry bogeys away the win
Kenny Perry led for much of the final round at the 2009 Masters and looked to be on his way to a tight victory. That all changed on the final two holes. Perry shot a bogey on the 17th hole and repeated the feat on no. 18. it forced a three-way playoff between him, Angel Cabrera and Chad Campbell. Cabrera made par on the second playoff hole to become the first Argentinean golfer to win a Green Jacket.
9. Mickelson breaks through
There was a time when Phil Mickelson carried the unwanted label of best player to never win a major after repeated close finishes early in his career. That all finally ended at the 2004 Masters. Mickelson played his final back nine in dominating fashion, getting five birdies in his final seven holes. his last birdie came on no. 18, as Mickelson sank his final putt and clinched his first major title on the PGA Tour.
10. Crenshaw's emotional win
Ben Crenshaw claimed his second Green Jacket in dramatic fashion at the 1995 Masters. he was mourning the death of longtime mentor, Harvey Penick, who passed away only a week before Crenshaw went to Augusta. he managed to win one for Penick, outlasting Davis Love III by one stroke to win with a score of 14-under. Crenshaw wept on the 18th hole after sinking his last putt to clinch his first Masters title since 1984.
John Coon enjoys getting in a round from time to time in the Salt Lake City area when he is not covering golf as a freelance sports reporter.
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Updated Mar 27, 1:38 pm EDT