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Sep 5, 2018
Sep 5, 2018

Top 10 golf moments of the last 20 years

Pinnacle’s top 10 golf moments of the last 20 years 

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Top 10 golf moments of the last 20 years

To celebrate Pinnacle’s 20th anniversary this series will look back over the biggest moments from our most popular sports. These are the top 10 moments from the last 20 years of golf.

1999: USA’s thrilling Ryder Cup victory at Brookline

USA captain Ben Crenshaw oversaw one of the best comebacks in Ryder Cup history as the Americans came back from 10-6 down on the final day to win 14 ½ - 13 ½.

The most decisive and iconic moment happened at the 17th hole between Justin Leonnard and José María Olazábal, as Leonard knocked down a 45-foot birdie to guarantee an American victory in a tournament filled with controversy over sportsmanship and crowd behaviour.

1999: Payne Stewart triumphs at the US Open

In Stewart’s final tournament before his tragic death a few months later, the American beat his compatriot Phil Mickelson to claim his second US Open Championship. Stewart needed a 15-foot putt to make par after a poor start to the 18th hole to win the tournament and beat a spirited Mickelson. The pair provided a fascinating battle that will go down as one of the most exciting finishes to a US Open.

2001: Tiger Woods completes the “Tiger Slam”

Tiger Woods became the first person to win four consecutive major golf championships in 2001. His accomplishment what was labelled the “Tiger Slam” as he held the US Open, Open Championship, PGA Championship and the Masters at the same time – a feat that is yet to be repeated. Woods completed the grand slam in Augusta at the Masters as he tied Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino for 11th place on the all-time major championship list (he has won another eight majors since and moved up to 2nd on the list of major honours.

2004: Phil Mickleson wins his first major

In 2004, serial runner-up Phil Mickelson finally went one step further and won the 68th Masters in what was his 47th major golf tournament with an 18-foot birdie on the final hole. It was the first time since Mark O’Meara in 1998 that the winner birdied the final hole. Mickelson has previously finished second in three major championships and was third in five others, including the previous three Masters tournaments.

2005: Tiger Woods’ 16th hole at the Masters

Perhaps the most iconic shot of Tiger Woods’ career, his incredible chip shot at the Masters in 2005 has been lauded as one of the greatest and most difficult shots to execute in golfing history.

Having bogeyed the previous two holes, the pressure was on Woods, making the shot even more difficult. Woods used the momentum gained from his incredible shot to go on and claim his fourth Masters - beating fellow American Chris DiMarco in a playoff.

2005: Birdie’s Birdie at the US Open

South Korean Birdie Kim lived up to her namesake by chipping in an incredible recovery shot from the bunker. Kim went onto seal her only major victory by capturing the US Open title ahead of Brittany Lang and 17-year-old amateur Morgan Pressel, taking home $560,000 in prize money for her efforts.

2008: Woods forces playoff vs. Rocco US Open

Needing a birdie on the final hole at Torrey Pines, on what later turned out to be a fractured leg, Tiger Woods converted a 12 footer to force an 18-hole playoff against Rocco Mediate, sparking a wild and iconic celebration. Woods would go onto defeat Rocco despite the de-habilitating injury to claim his 14th and most recent major victory and join Jack Nicklaus as the only two players to win three grand slams in the process.

2012: The Miracle at Medinah

In what turned out to be the reverse of the 1999 Ryder cup, it was Europe who mounted an incredible comeback victory on the final day of play to recover from 10-6 down to win 14 ½ - 13 ½ in 2012.

It’s regarded as one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time and the greatest Ryder cup victory ever. Despite Justin Rose’s exploits on the penultimate day of play, the score stood at 10-6 with Team USA needing just 4 ½ points to clinch victory. However, Team Europe went on to claim 8 ½ points to win the Ryder Cup outright - Martin Kaymer has the honour of sinking a five-foot putt to seal the win.

2015: Spieth’s masterclass at the Masters

A 22-year-old Jordan Spieth announced himself as one of the world’s best golfers by putting on a dazzling display at the Masters in 2015. Coming into the tournament his odds were 11.55 but after an incredible opening day, his odds fell to 3.47 signalling that Spieth was firmly in the driving seat to claim the Masters title.

Spieth’s 18 under par score tied Tiger Wood’s all time scoring record and cemented his position as the next big thing in golf. Spieth went on to win the US Open and finish 2nd at the PGA Champions in 2015.

2017: Garcia finally wins a Major

At the 74th attempt, Sergio Garcia finally broke his majors curse by winning the 2017 Masters after a playoff victory against Justin Rose. No other golfer has competed in more majors without winning one than Garcia, so for the Spaniard to finally achieve his goal was a special moment for him and the millions of golf fans willing him on. Garcia became the third Spaniard to wear the famous green jacket after José María Olazábal and Seve Ballesteros.

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