In the final round of the 2010 Masters, Phil Mickelson's drive on the par-5 13th found the pine straw. What happened next is history. 

By Daniel Rapaport
April 03, 2018

Editor's note: In anticipation of the 2018 Masters, we're counting down the best moments from the last 20 years at Augusta. Checking in at No. 7 was Louis Oosthuizen's albatross from the 2012 final round. Tiger's completion of the "Tiger Slam" in 2001 was No. 6. Jordan Spieth's implosion on the 12th in 2016 was No. 5. At No. 4 was Bubba Watson's miraculous rope-hook from the trees in the 2012 playoff. Spieth's triumph in 2015 was No. 3. 

Every golf tournament has a signature moment. Whether is a lucky bounce, a long putt or a disastrous shot that kills a player's chances, there's always that moment that defines the tournament. 

At the 2010 Masters, that moment came on the par-5 13th hole. 

Phil Mickelson, in pursuit for his third green jacket, was leading by two over perennial contender Lee Westwood but pulled his drive into the pine straw right of the fairway. His ball nestled behind two trees, but there was about a four-foot opening that he could squeeze his approach into the green to. That is, if he struck the shot perfectly. 

The percentage play would have been simply to lay up to a good yardage. Mickelson, after all, is one of the best wedge players in the history of the game. Plus, the cushion of a two-shot lead meant he didn't need to make an eagle. Westwood, too, had already laid up. 

Mickelson, though, isn't one to play the percentages. After a back-and-forth with his caddy Jim "Bones" Mackay, Lefty opted to go for the green with a six iron. He'd need to clip the ball perfectly off the uneven pine straw, fit it between the two trees, carry the water short of the green and have it land soft enough to hold the green. A true make or break moment:

Mission accomplished. 

Mickelson would actually miss that five-footer and would have to settle for birdie, but he built on the momentum from the miracle shot to birdie 15 and 18 for a three-shot victory. He'd captured his third Masters title and fourth major overall, and in the process gave us a Phil moment to cherish forever. 

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