CG’s Top-10 Favorite Masters Moments – With Video!

It’s Masters week this week, so we thought we’d pull one of our favorite stories out of the archives — a ranking of the top-10 Masters moments of all-time, complete with video, that we first ran in 2014. And while there have been memorable moments in recent years — Spieth’s hole-out from the bunker at No. 8 in 2014, Spieth’s record-breaking win in 2015, Spieth’s collapse on No. 12 in 2016, and probably some other non-Spieth moments, too — we don’t know that any of them are better than the 10 we posted here four years ago. So, enjoy … hopefully we’ll be adding to this list soon.
The Masters returns to our television sets this week, which means it must be spring. For us, and I’m sure millions of other golf nuts, nothing gets us as excited for the year ahead in golf as the first glimpse of those colorful azaleas and perfectly trimmed fairways, the tinkling piano music and the calming intonations of Jim Nantz welcoming us back to Augusta for another year.
We can’t wait.
To help celebrate the return of our nation’s most revered golf traditions, we’re counting down our 10 Favorite Moments in Masters History. To make it more fun — and to give us, and you, the chance to relive these moments, we’ve only selected ones we could find video of on YouTube (sorry, Gene Sarazen), and eliminated those that ultimately just made us sad (you’re welcome, Greg Norman). [NOTE: If videos do not appear, hit refresh.]
So get comfy, and prepare to enjoy a descent down the YouTube rabbit hole. When you come out the other side, let us know who you like to win this year’s tournament — our staff picks are at the bottom.
No. 10 — Louis Oosthuizen Bags An Albatross
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The 2012 Masters gifted us with two of the most memorable shots in tournament history — the other appears later on this list. Standing 253 yards out on Augusta’s par-5 second hole, Oosthuizen pulled 4-wood, made a perfect swing, and then watched as his second shot landed on the front of the green, rolled a country mile, and dropped into the hole for just the fourth albatross in Masters history. Oosthuizen would end the day as the co-leader, sending him to a playoff with Bubba Watson. And if you remember how that ended, then you have a good guess as to what’s coming up soon.
No. 9 — Phil Mickelson Makes “Pine Straw” A Household Term
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The important thing to remember about Phil Mickelson’s amazing shot off the pine straw during the final round of the 2010 Masters is that he didn’t need to go for the green. Leading by two, and having hit his tee shot into the woods on the right side of the fairway, Mickelson could have played it safe to the fairway and left himself with a pitch-and-putt birdie, and still maintained his edge over the field. But if he were ever one to play it safe, Phil wouldn’t be the fan favorite he is. Instead, he went full Tin Cup, aimed for a four-foot gap in the trees at a water-fronted green 187 yards away, and did this:
No. 8 — Jack Nicklaus Comes Out On Top
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The final round of the 1975 Masters was a heavyweight prizefight, with Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller landing haymaker after haymaker, countering each other’s birdies with birdies of their own, and swapping the lead back and forth. The final blow was the Bear’s to deliver — knocking down a 40-foot putt on the par-3 16 green, and jumping in jubilation with his caddie, as Weiskopf and Miller watched from the tee box, just 160 yards away. Nicklaus captured his fifth green jacket … but, as this list will recall, not his last. The video attached shows a full recap of the final day’s action — to skip ahead to Nicklaus’ famous putt, skip to 1:07.
No. 7 — Tiger Woods Says Hello, World
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Most golfers remember Tiger Woods dominating his first Masters as a pro, finishing a record 12 under par to win the tournament by five strokes. What many have forgotten, though, is that Tiger’s first nine holes at Augusta were actually one of the worst of his Masters career. Woods opened the 1997 tournament with a front-nine 40, before firing a stunning 30 on the back nine to finish 2-under for the day, and begin his march into the record books. So many things that have become a part of Tiger lore were first on display in this tournament — the Sunday red outfits, the emphatic fist pump. What I recall most, however, was the touching embrace with his father, Earl.
No. 6 — Ben Crenshaw Breaks Down
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Throughout the week at the 1995 Masters, Ben Crenshaw said he felt a guiding hand influencing every shot he took. His longtime swing coach, Harvey Penick, had died just four days before the tournament began, yet Crenshaw felt his presence more strongly than ever — in the long putts that found the hole, in approach shots that bounced off just the right spots to roll close to the pin. When he made his final putt on 18 to clinch the win, the emotion was simply too much — Crenshaw dropped his hat, bent over, and let it all out (skip to 0:55 for the winning putt).
No. 5 — Bubba Watson’s Impossible Hook
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As Bubba Watson’s driver goes, so goes Bubba. One of the longest hitters in Tour history, when he has the big dog under control, he’s a threat to win any tournament he’s in. When he doesn’t, though, he can quickly fall out of contention. So it was that when Bubba sprayed his driver into the trees on the second playoff hole at the 2012 Masters, 100 percent of golf viewers who don’t happen to be Bubba Watson’s mother shrugged and thought, “Well, that does it.” But Bubba had one of the greatest wedge shots in Masters history up his sleeve.
No. 4 — Tiger Woods Puts Nike Golf On The Map
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OK, so Nike was certainly already a big name prior to 1995, thanks largely to Woods’ success. But there was no more iconic moment for the brand than this shot in the 2005 Masters — which also just happens to be one of the greatest shots we’ve ever seen live. Woods would go on to win his fourth green jacket, and his third in five years. At the time, Nicklaus’ record of six Masters wins seemed like it wouldn’t last the decade. Woods hasn’t won since.
No. 3 — Larry Mize Chips In
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To paraphrase the end of this video, words do not do justice to the greatness of this shot. There’s little question that Augusta native Larry Mize was the odd man out in a three-way playoff with Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman at the 1987 Masters. Ballesteros won more majors in his career (5, including two Masters) than Mize won PGA Tour events (4), while Norman had held the lead after 54 holes in all four majors the previous year, and had just barely missed a putt that would have won the 1987 Masters outright on the 18th hole. Seve, though, bowed out after missing a short putt on the first playoff hole, and when Mize missed the green on the following hole, Norman played it safe, leaving himself a long, but makeable, birdie putt to win. Mize’s only hope was to chip it close …
No. 2 — The Golden Bear Roars Again
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We mentioned Nicklaus’ six green jackets, but we can’t let this list go by without recalling the sixth and final win, quite possibly the greatest in Jack’s storied career. At 46 years old, Nicklaus had already entered that awkward phase where legends continue playing year after year, despite nobody really expecting them to win. And trailing eight golfers on the leaderboard Sunday morning, it certainly seemed unlikely that Nicklaus was about to make history. But then he birdied 9. And 10. And 11. And 13. By the time he eagled 15, the crowd was in a frenzy, and golf fans throughout the world were glued to their televisions (had this happened today, Nicklaus might have crashed Twitter). Had his tee shot on the par-3 16th, which rolled within just a foot or two of the cup, gone in for an ace, the assembled masses at Augusta may well have stormed the course in celebration. Instead, he rolled in his birdie, then made another at 17 — inspiring Pat Summerall’s famous, “Yes, sir!” call and the iconic image of Nicklaus with his putter raised and his fist pumping as he strides towards the hole. In all, Nicklaus closed the 1986 Masters with six birdies and an eagle over the final eight holes to clinch his sixth — and, we assume, though we probably shouldn’t, final — green jacket.
No. 1 — Rain City Boy Stays Dry
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When religious scholars debate the true God, they should consult Fred Couples — because whoever Boom-Boom prays to is obviously listening. The world’s No. 1-ranked player, Couples had fired 69, 67 and 69 over the tournament’s first three days to enter the final round of the 1992 Masters in second place, just behind leader Craig Parry. As Parry faded on the final day, Couples heated up, making birdies at Nos. 8 and 9 to take the lead over Raymond Floyd. As his tee shot at the par-3 12th hole, though, sailed towards the green, Couples could tell it was going to be short. Sure enough, it landed on the steeply pitched front bank and began rolling back towards Rae’s Creek, crossing the hazard line … and, miraculously, coming to a sudden stop just inches from the water’s edge. The ensuing up-and-down saved par and the tournament for Couples, and gave Cascade golfers everywhere the chance to celebrate with one of our own. Skip ahead to 7:25 to see Couples’ infamous shot.
CG Staff Picks for 2018 Masters
Dick Stephens, Publisher: Ian Poulter
He’s coming off of a really big win last week in Houston and he has the length and grit to be in a green jacket.
Kirk Tourtillotte, Vice President: Jordan Spieth
His game is peaking at the right time (T-3rd Houston Open), three top-10 finishes this year. Most importantly, his confidence in playing Augusta is off the charts.
Brian Beaky, Editor: Rory McIlroy
Say what you will about @SecretTourPro, the Twitter account that purports to be a European Tour professional tweeting gossip about life on Tour. Whether he’s legit or not, he knows his Masters champs — two years ago, he picked Danny Willett. Last year, he picked Sergio Garcia. I’m betting he’ll go three-for-three.
Simon Dubiel, Tournament Coordinator: Justin Rose
Guy has what it takes to win a major and nobody has played Augusta National better than Rose over the last five years. He is always in the mix and this year he gets it done.
Tony Dellino, Event Manager: Tiger Woods
Because it’s the Masters. Because it’s Tiger. It’s not a unique or an original pick, but it’s the right one.
John Tipping, Sales Representative: Dustin Johnson
Seems people forgot he is still playing.
Ian Civey, Sales Representative: Jason Day
He’s one of the handful of great fits with experience and success. A winner earlier in 2018, he currently leads the PGA TOUR in strokes gained, putting and sits fourth in birdie-or-better percentage.
Who do you like?

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