Where do you even start when trying to pick the greatest Tiger Woods shot ever? Do you go with a putt, like his “Better than most!” triple-breaker at the 2001 Players Championship? How about a chip, like the miraculous hole-out on Augusta National’s 16th at the 2005 Masters? Perhaps a clutch approach, like at the 18th at Pebble Beach in the 2010 U.S. Open? Maybe an ace, like in 1997 at the 16th in what’s now the Waste Management Phoenix Open? All worthy candidates, sure.
The best place to start, though, would probably be asking Woods himself. Earlier this week, Woods held forth for TaylorMade on that topic, and the answer isn’t quite what you’d expect.
The 2002 PGA Championship at Hazeltine — an event you’ve probably forgotten, and an event which Woods didn’t even win — was the site of what Woods deemed his finest shot ever. With a fierce wind and an awkward stance on the edge of a fairway bunker, Woods drew out a three-iron unleashed one of the greatest escape-approaches you’ll ever see. Here, check it out:
“I’ve never felt contact that solid in my life,” Woods said, and for a man whose touch is so precise he can tell if a club’s weight is off by an ounce, that’s saying something.
Woods, sidelined by an array of injuries suffered in a 2021 car wreck, among other health woes, hasn’t played since withdrawing from the 2023 Masters. There is no timeline yet on his return to competitive golf, though he’s been spotted in recent months watching his son Charlie participate in youth tournaments.