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    The Masters: 10 Most Memorable Shots

    The tournament tends to inspire magnificent moments, and there have been many.The Masters, which begins on Thursday, never fails to deliver shots to remember, which generate roars from the crowd at Augusta National Golf Club.Gene Sarazen at Augusta National in 1935, when the tournament was known as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament.Augusta National, via Getty ImagesThis year will no doubt provide more shots that fall into that category and more thunderous roars. Most likely they will come during the back nine on Sunday, when, as the saying goes, the tournament truly begins.Here are 10 examples, in chronological order, of sensational shots by players who walked away with the title — and, since 1949, the coveted green jacket.1935: Gene SarazenThere’s no film of the shot that ranks as the greatest of all. That’s unfortunate.The Masters wasn’t known as the Masters then; it was the Augusta National Invitation Tournament and in only its second year.In the final round, Sarazen was trailing Craig Wood by three strokes. On No. 15, a par 5, Sarazen hit a 4-wood from about 230 yards away. The ball dropped into the cup for an incredible double eagle. Just like that, he was tied with Wood.Sarazen beat Wood by five shots the next day in a 36-hole playoff.1960: Arnold PalmerAfter making a long birdie putt on No. 17 to tie Ken Venturi, who had completed play, Palmer needed another birdie on the last hole to capture his second Masters title in three years.Mission accomplished.He nailed a 6-iron from the fairway to within five feet of the pin and then converted the putt.Palmer prevailed again at Augusta National in 1962 and in 1964, winning the last of his seven majors.Jack Nicklaus at the Masters in 1975.Augusta National/Getty Images1975: Jack NicklausHis tee shot at No. 16, a par 3, in the final round wasn’t what he was looking for, with the ball coming to a rest about 40 feet from the cup. He would, in all likelihood, get his par, but still trail the leader, Tom Weiskopf, by a shot.Forget about the par.Nicklaus knocked in the uphill putt for a birdie, lifting his putter in the air to celebrate. After Weiskopf and Johnny Miller missed their birdie attempts at 18, Nicklaus won his fifth green jacket.1986: Jack NicklausNicklaus, 46, was making an unexpected run on Sunday when he faced a second shot at the risk/reward 15th hole.The risk was worth the reward.From 202 yards away, he hit a 4-iron over the pond to about 12 feet from the pin.He converted the eagle putt and followed with birdies at 16 and 17 to win by a stroke. For Nicklaus, who fired a final-round 65 (30 on the back nine), it was his sixth Masters title and 18th, and final, major championship.1987: Larry MizeWhen a sudden-death playoff got underway, Mize was not the favorite. His opponents were Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros, future Hall of Famers.Yet it was Mize, an Augusta native, who came through, chipping in from about 140 feet on No. 11, the second playoff hole, to outduel Norman. Ballesteros, in pursuit of his third green jacket, had dropped out after a bogey on the first playoff hole.Mize went on to win only two more PGA Tour events.1988: Sandy LyleAfter hitting his drive on No. 18 into the bunker, Lyle needed a par to move to a playoff with Mark Calcavecchia, who was already in the clubhouse.From 150 yards away, Lyle, who couldn’t see the flag, proceeded to hit a magnificent 7-iron, the ball trickling down the hill to stop about 10 feet from the pin.Lyle, of Scotland, made the birdie putt to become the first player from the United Kingdom to win the Masters.Mark O’Meara with his caddie on the 18th green at the 1998 Masters.Augusta National, via Getty Images1998: Mark O’MearaThe tournament seemed destined for the first sudden-death playoff since 1990.O’Meara, who was tied with David Duval and Fred Couples, was lining up a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole.There would be no playoff.O’Meara, who had started the day two shots back, knocked it in for his first major title. He won his second major a few months later in the British Open.2004: Phil MickelsonWithout question, Mickelson’s 6-iron from the pine straw on No. 13 in 2010 deserves to be on the list, but his birdie on the final hole in 2004 also stands out.Tied with Ernie Els, Mickelson hit his approach to 18 feet from the hole. A playoff appeared to be a strong possibility, and similar to O’Meara in 1998, Mickelson, 33, was in search of his first major triumph. He had finished second three times.Jim Nantz, the CBS anchor, said it best as the ball edged toward the cup.“Is it his time? … Yes.”Tiger Woods faced his fans after winning the Masters in 2005.Icon Sport Media, via Getty Images2005: Tiger WoodsLeading in the final round by only one, Woods was in trouble after his 8-iron to No. 16 missed the green to the left. He had to aim about 25 feet from the cup to catch the slope at the perfect spot.He found the perfect spot, and the ball stayed on the edge of the cup for a second or two before tumbling in for a miraculous birdie.Woods secured his fourth green jacket on the first playoff hole against Chris DiMarco.2012: Bubba WatsonWatson, on the second playoff hole against Louis Oosthuizen, sent his tee shot into the pine straw on the right.Advantage: Oosthuizen. Not for long.Watson managed to hook his wedge shot to about 15 feet from the cup. He finished with a par, earning the first of his two Masters victories when Oosthuizen made a bogey.“As an athlete, as a golfer,” Watson told reporters at the time, “this is the Mecca. This is what we strive for — to put on the green jacket.” More

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    With Reminders to ‘Play Boldly,’ Bryson DeChambeau Wins Arnold Palmer Invitational

    AdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyWith Reminders to ‘Play Boldly,’ Bryson DeChambeau Wins Arnold Palmer InvitationalDeChambeau had counsel in the form of an old letter from Palmer and texts from Tiger Woods as he won his first tournament of the year on Sunday.Bryson DeChambeau putting on the red cardigan awarded to the winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The sweater had been a signature Palmer garment.Credit…John Raoux/Associated PressMarch 7, 2021, 9:33 p.m. ETORLANDO, Fla. — After sinking a testing five-foot par putt on the 18th hole to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational here on Sunday evening, Bryson DeChambeau said he had received a text message from Tiger Woods that morning.“We just talked about keep fighting no matter what,” DeChambeau said, “and play boldly like Mr. Palmer said. My heart has been heavy with Tiger and what’s going on with him. And I kept telling myself it’s not how many times you get kicked down but how many times you get back up and keep going.”Wearing a red cardigan, a signature Palmer garment that is presented to the tournament champion, DeChambeau said the sweater was a tribute to Palmer, who died in 2016, and to Woods, who has won the Palmer Invitational eight times. Woods is recuperating in California from leg injuries sustained in a serious car crash on Feb. 23.“Just knowing what place he’s in right now,” DeChambeau said of Woods, adding that he told him, “You’re going to get through this.”The final round Sunday featured a duel between DeChambeau and Lee Westwood, who must have been feeling a displaced sense of déjà vu.Westwood, 47, was once the young, barrel-chested strongman whose forearms propelled soaring iron shots into the sky. Westwood’s power game turned heads, and led to scores of tournament victories, a world No. 1 ranking and 10 Ryder Cup appearances.But on Sunday, Westwood played the role of the aging challenger to a beefed-up modern version of his former self in DeChambeau, 27. They had a stirring clash until the final hole, but ultimately, Westwood did not turn back the clock as DeChambeau, whose consistency is underrated, steadily held off Westwood for a one-stroke victory.Westwood has admired DeChambeau’s prodigious length off the tee, which became a sensational story line of the 2020 golf season. “It’s great to watch,” he said. “I like it. He can overpower a golf course.”DeChambeau trailed Westwood by one stroke entering the final round, and promptly fell back another stroke with a bogey on the first hole. But three holes later he had tied Westwood, and by the pivotal, par-5 sixth hole, which has been a stage for DeChambeau to showcase his unmatched power throughout the weekend, he seemed to seize the momentum with a memorable birdie in what had become a two-man competition for the tournament title.As he had done in Saturday’s third round, DeChambeau took a radically aggressive line off the sixth tee by taking the most direct approach over a lake that required a 340-yard carry to keep the ball dry. DeChambeau’s tee shot sailed a little right but it still cleared the water and, with help from the wind, traveled 377 yards that left him just 88 yards away from the pin. The next closest tee shot to the green on the sixth hole on Sunday was more than 200 yards away.DeChambeau bested Lee Westwood in a two-man race for the title.Credit…Sam Greenwood/Getty ImagesAfter his misstep on the first hole, DeChambeau made 15 pars and two birdies for a round of one-under-par 71, putting together an impressive exhibition of concentration and good course management on a day when the wind was gusting up to 25 miles an hour and vexing most of the field.DeChambeau also made critical, reasonably long par-saving putts on the second, third and 11th holes. On the fourth hole, he sank a 37-foot birdie putt. Afterward, DeChambeau said he does not believe he gets enough credit for his putting ability because his booming drives overshadow it.“It’s a very underrated aspect of my game,” DeChambeau said.Corey Conners, who began the day tied with DeChambeau, finished third. Jordan Spieth had another strong tournament, one of a series of improved performances for him this year, but finished Sunday’s round with a 75 to fall into a tie for fourth place.The victory was DeChambeau’s eighth on the PGA Tour and the first for him this year, which will signal to the rest of his rivals that his breakthrough season of a year ago was far from a fluke. DeChambeau had 10 finishes in the top 10 at tournaments last year, including a victory at the United States Open, his first major championship.But he said the victory at the Palmer Invitational was particularly emotional for him because Palmer had mailed him a congratulatory letter one week before he died. DeChambeau has framed the letter and hung it on a wall in his home office.“I don’t even want to say what winning at Mr. Palmer’s event is going to mean to me,” DeChambeau said Sunday evening. “It’s going to make me cry.”AdvertisementContinue reading the main story More

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    Arnold Palmer’s Legacy Hints at What Tiger Woods Might Leave Behind

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }Tiger Woods’s Car CrashWoods Undergoes More ProceduresWill He Play Again?Golf Without TigerA Terrible Turn of FateHonoring WoodsAdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyArnold Palmer’s Legacy Hints at What Tiger Woods Might Leave BehindThe link between the two golf legends feels stronger than ever, and players at the Arnold Palmer Invitational can’t help but make the connection.A statue of Arnold Palmer near the first tee at Bay Hill during the final practice round for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.Credit…Erik S Lesser/EPA, via ShutterstockMarch 4, 2021Updated 9:08 p.m. ETORLANDO, Fla. — In a fashion befitting someone born in 1929, Arnold Palmer valued a certain comportment, like men removing their hats when they went indoors. Rory McIlroy, born in 1989, played in the famed Arnold Palmer Invitational for the first time in 2015 and watched with a bit of wonder as the hat protocol was politely enforced in the players’ dining room, sometimes by a smiling Palmer.“I came to really like it,” McIlroy said of the etiquette still practiced at the event in honor of Palmer, who died in 2016. “It’s one of the ways you still feel Arnie’s legacy and presence.”A week ago, after Tiger Woods sustained serious injuries in a car crash, talk of Woods’s legacy and presence was pervasive on the PGA Tour. This week at Arnold Palmer’s tournament, which Woods has won eight times, the link between the two golf legends seems stronger than ever, perhaps in ways that may shape Woods’s standing in the game going forward.After the first round on Thursday, Mcllroy and Corey Conners were tied for the lead at six under par.With Woods still on their minds, numerous players have made the connection, keenly aware that the impact Palmer made on golf and international culture was replicated by Woods 40 years later. “Certainly, Arnie was and should be the role model for all professional golfers,” Jordan Spieth said Wednesday.Sam Saunders, Palmer’s grandson who has played on the PGA Tour, said he believed that his grandfather had laid the groundwork for what Woods later accomplished, and that the annual appearances by today’s top golfers at the Palmer Invitational had become a way “for them to remember that Arnold Palmer kind of started it.”Saunders added: “We wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing right now were it not for his bringing the game to television and making it popular, making it a game for everyone. He started it, Tiger has continued it, and so many great players along the way have added to that.”A younger generation of pro golfers seems to revel in the Palmer lore at Bay Hill, the tournament site. Near the first tee, they take pictures next to the bronze statue of the golfer, which captures his distinctive, powerful follow-through. Spieth took a tour of Palmer’s museum-like office on Wednesday. Two years ago, the rising star Viktor Hovland, then 21, was guided around the grounds by Palmer’s longtime assistant, Doc Giffin. Perhaps if Hovland had more time, he might have learned how Palmer, in part because of his blue-collar, Western Pennsylvania roots, had pried golf from its country-club origins and, for the first time, made the sport cool. Palmer had charisma, dressed with pizazz, played with white-hot emotion and struck evocative poses that seemed made for a television camera. Palmer’s life became a particularly mid-20th century American story as he launched multiple prosperous companies, earned scores of corporate endorsements and made himself a worldwide brand — all as a golfer who last won a PGA Tour event in 1973.Arnold Palmer competing in the Thunderbird Classic at the Upper Montclair Country Club in 1968.Credit…Robert Walker/The New York TimesPalmer also magnanimously strayed from his designated lane. More than a dozen PGA Tour players who live near Orlando remarked this week that their children were born at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, named for Arnold’s wife of nearly 50 years. It is across the street from the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.It is likely that millions of people around the world know Arnold Palmer not for his golf but because of the popular soft drink, iced tea combined with lemonade, that bears his name. In the end, perhaps he most enjoyed his status as a beloved, wise elder who was constantly approached by advice-seeking pro golfers — young and seasoned — who knew that no one had persevered and succeeded in golf like Arnold Palmer.It is in all these ways that Palmer’s life after his playing career might serve as an example for how Tiger Woods, if he chooses, could continue to deeply influence golf for decades to come. Woods has already taken multiple steps to do so, in modern ways that are tailored to his specific interests and causes.But as Woods watches this weekend’s Palmer Invitational — and his social media accounts made it plain that he was watching the PGA Tour last weekend — it will be easy to note the homage paid to Palmer’s almost lifelong leadership role in golf. Woods, an idol to the current generation of players in the same way Palmer was to the golfers who came after him, has the platform to forge a similar legacy. The two had a warm relationship, and Woods knows plenty about the path Palmer deliberately chose.And it appears he already knows his manners. Of Woods’s eight victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one of the most notable came when he sank a twisting 24-foot putt on the final hole to win the 2008 tournament. What made the moment most memorable was Woods’s reaction to that clinching putt: Perhaps anticipating a walk back to the clubhouse, he grabbed his hat and flung it to the ground.AdvertisementContinue reading the main story More