Hole outs for eagles, chip-ins for birdies and other wacky shots have been featured in golf’s final major, the PGA Championship, in its nearly 100-year history. But there are moments that stand out among the rest – shots that defined careers and cemented legacies.
A young Sergio Garcia galloping to the green after blind shot behind a tree
We go live to a view of Tiger Woods – zeroing in on capturing the 1999 PGA crown on Sunday with a motivated demeanor. And then there’s this young kid alongside him, lookin’ like “Smalls” from “The Sandlot,” sprinting to the green with a hop at the end in true 19-year-old fashion.
On the 16th hole at Medinah, Garcia elected to hit his ball around the tree blocking his path to the cup. Eyes closed, the Spaniard gave it a rip to reach the green.
If Garcia is in contention this weekend, get ready to see this highlight played daily.
Tiger’s famous 3-iron bunker shot
Speaking of Tiger, he finished his second round in 2002 at Hazeltine with a smile.
A family of trees obstructed his view of the flagstick, and due to the location of his ball in the fairway bunker, Tiger faced an awkward stance with his heels touching the left lip.
Just look at how far he tilts his 3-iron back, giving him the loft to clear the trees. GOAT.
Over the tree…and the water
This shot by Gary Player at the 1972 PGA Championship was truly extraordinary, giving him a two-stroke lead with two holes remaining.
Player’s tee shot found the right rough, with his view blocked by a tall weeping willow tree. But that’s not all. There was also 100 yards of water between him and the green. This is the 16th hole in his final round, and one minuscule mistake could have wrecked his chances.
Instead, he stuck it within a few feet of the cup.
These final two shots are special, given the fact they gave two unknown golfers their first and only major victories.
For Shaun Micheel, it was his lone PGA Tour win, entering the 2003 tournament at Oak Hill having never eclipsed the top 20 of a major.
Micheel was one-stroke ahead of Chad Campbell as they reached the 18th. Then this happened.
As the great Jim Nantz said, “Add that one to PGA Championship lore.”
Tway slays “The Shark”
In 1986, Greg Norman was on top of the golf world. Well, kind of. “The Shark” played in the final group of all four majors that year, including the 1986 PGA Championship, but only claimed one title (The Open).
The tournament at Inverness that season can also be viewed as one of the finest chokes in PGA Championship history. Norman led by four strokes at the turn, then went double bogey at 11, bogey at 14 to sit even with Bob Tway.
Tway was second on the money list in ’86, but was still seeking his first major victory. He found himself in a tie with Norman at the 18th, with his approach shot finding a greenside bunker while Norman landed his ball on the fringe.
The disgusted Norman had a chance to tie but wound up three putting.
Honorable Mentions: Bubba Watson casually bashing his drive on a 355-yard par 4 to within 15 feet, Matt Jones truly playing it as it lies in 2015 – hitting his second shot from the carpet of a hospitality tent. Spoiler alert: He’ll find himself on another list tomorrow. Nearly missing the top five was Rory McIlroy’s bunker shot in 2014 – great importance which led to his fourth major, but not an all-time moment.