Monday, April 11, 2005

Tiger Woods' chip at the 16th -- the greatest shot ever?

Already Tiger Woods' remarkable chip on the 16th at Augusta yesterday is being heralded as the greatest shot ever in the history of golf. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but it was a pretty well executed chip.
It strikes me that the CBS announcers were making a bigger deal about the shot than it deserved. Lanny Wadkins said Tiger would be lucky to end up inside Chris Dimarco, who had 10 feet for birdie.
Of course, Tiger was aware that Davis Love III had used a similar trick to pull off nearly the same shot in 1999. But Love didn't win, so Tiger's shot is made that much more impressive by the fact he won.
I'm not sure it is even the greatest shot Woods has pulled off -- that honor still belongs to the 210-yard six iron he hit over water to win the 2000 Canadian Open.
There are several stories out there about Tiger's chip out there. One rather complete story, comparing Woods' chip to Gene Sarazen's double-eagle in 1935, says Sarazen still comes out ahead. I have a hard time imagining that, since far fewer people ever saw The Squire's shot. The story, by Rueters, is here. I wonder about the writer's contention that Tiger was "40 yards" off the green. Looked more like a couple to me.
The Augusta Chronicle also said the chip was in a similar category to Larry Mize's chip and Sarazen's four-wood.

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