Entering the 2005 Masters the golf world was wondering about Tiger Woods it had been 34 months since he had won a Major, had lost his World No. 1 ranking and was in the middle of a swing rebuild. In the first round he played very poorly but from there vintage Tiger was back. This Masters also proved to be the final of the great Jack Nicklaus who ended his Masters career after 45 starts and 6 wins.
2005: Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods entered the final round of the 2005 Masters three shots ahead of Chris Dimarco. The day had begun early in the morning with the finish of the 3rd round Woods began that final nine holes four behind Dimarco and finished it three ahead with a 34 compared to Dimarco’s 41. Woods lengthened his lead to four with a birdie at the 1st, both he and Dimarco birdied the Par Five 2nd hole. His lead still four at the 5th hole and a good approach shot to leave him in birdie range, but his putter betrays him he three putts for bogey and the lead is back to three. Both men match on each of the four remaining holes on the front nine and head to the back nine with Tiger ahead by three. At 10 Tiger hits a poor tee shot that rattles in the woods and bounces out into the rough, and despite that good break he still makes bogey. Dimarco hits a poor approach and needs an up and down for Par, and he gets it and is back within two.
The Par 4, 11th hole, Woods hits a massive tee shot and leaves himself a short birdie putt, but before he can hit it Dimarco from 35 feet pours in his birdie putt and a shocked Tiger misses and his lead is just one. But Dimarco gives it right back with a bogey at the 12th, both par 13 and on 14 Dimarco hits a brilliant 2nd shot and cuts Tiger’s lead back to one. At 15, both hit great approach shots and birdie the Par 5. At 16 Dimarco first to play and puts his ball safely on the green with a 7-iron, Tiger pulls 8-iron and pulls his tee shot left and long of the green. Woods with an impossible chip shot surveyed the green he decided his best chance was to use the slope of the green to funnel the ball to the hole. The odds of Woods getting up and down for par from where he was, was 1/1,000,000. He pulled his sand wedge and struck the ball into the slope CBS’s Verne Lundquist said “well here it comes” the ball started creeping closer Lundquist realized it could go it went “oh my goodness” the ball got all the way to the hole and hung on the lip for a split second then slowly fell into the cup the crowd and Woods erupted in cheers and Lunquist famously yelled “OH WOW, IN YOUR LIFE HAVE YOU SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT” a remarkable birdie two and Dimarco was in shock, he missed his birdie and Tiger went to 17 two up with two to play.
But Tiger’s magic wore off as he would bogey the final two holes and fall into a tie with Dimarco who nearly won the tournament with a chip shot at 18, that to this day Dimarco says he doesn’t know how it didn’t go in. In the playoff, both found the fairway, and Dimarco repeated the same mistake he made in regulation and left his ball short, Woods flushed and 8-iron to 17 feet, Dimarco got down in two for Par and Tiger had a putt to win. While he’s Tiger Woods what do you think happened? it was dead center in the hole and Tiger Woods claimed his 4th and most dramatic Green Jacket.