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. Phil Mickelson's six-iron from the pine straw in 2010 was the runner-up.
How do you select a signature shot from a career that's blessed us with so many unforgettable moments?
Tiger Woods has delivered jaw-dropping shot after jaw-dropping shot over the course of his 20-odd years on Tour, a tenure that includes 14 major championships and 79 PGA Tour wins. That makes it particularly difficult to pinpoint one memory that tops them all, but a few worthy candidates stand out.
The putt on 18 at Torrey Pines in 2008 to force a playoff is one of them. So is his walking in a putt in the 2000 PGA Championship playoff against Bob May. Let's also not forget his five-footer in 1997 to set the Masters scoring record and secure his first major, a win he to this day calls the most important of his illustrious career.
Still, none of these equal the magnitude of his chip-in on Augusta's 16th hole in the final round of the 2005 Masters.
Woods came to the par-3 16th with a one-shot lead over Chris DiMarco, a player Woods was outdriving by a solid 40 yards off the tee but a gritty competitor who had a hot putter. DiMarco played first and his seven-iron found the middle of the green before taking a slope down towards the hole, leaving about a 20-footer straight up the hill for birdie. Solid shot, particularly when you consider the gravity of the moment.
Tiger was next and tugged an eight-iron that finished long and left of the green, one of the absolute worst spots to miss with that Sunday back-left pin location. In order to get the ball close, he'd have to nip a pitch off a tight lie and die the ball at the top of the ridge, then let the ball funnel down the hill toward the hole. Not an impossible task, but a very difficult one to say the least.
Check it out below.
There is just so much to love about that moment. The waning sunlight blanketed by shadows caused by decades-old pine trees. Lanny Wadkins' challenge to Tiger right before he addressed the shot: "There's a good chance he doesn't get this inside DiMarcos' ball." The shot itself, which was one of absolute artistry. The split-second when the ball looked like it would stop short of the cup—providing Nike with one of history's best organic advertisements—before deciding it would be ludicrous to do anything but drop into the hole. And last but not least, Verne Lundquist's iconic "IN YOUR LIFE HAVE YOU SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT?!" call.
DiMarco's effort, in that moment an afterthought in the truest sense, slid by the hole on the low side and he tapped in for par. Woods had built a two-shot advantage heading into 17 and 18, and that would end up proving crucial as he limped home with two bogeys. DiMarco, to his credit, made two solid pars coming in to force a playoff. Which Woods won on the first hole with a birdie, of course.
That chip has proven to be the quintessential moment of an iconic career, and arguably the best moment in the rich history of Augusta National.