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Tiger Woods picks 3-iron from bunker as best shot
Woods speaks exclusively to Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue
Much has happened to Woods since he won his maiden major at the 1997 Masters.
And it is not the legendary curling chip he holed on the short 16th at Augusta in a tense final-round duel with Chris DiMarco in the 2005 Masters.
It was a 3-iron, out of a bunker, on the 18th hole to finish his second round at the 2002 US PGA at Hazeltine, Minnesota.
“That was the greatest feeling shot I’ve ever hit in my life,” Woods told CNN’s Living Golf in an exclusive interview ahead of last month’s Dubai Desert Classic.
Woods was in his pomp and had won eight majors by that point, including that year’s Masters and US Open.
Weather delays at Hazeltine meant the second round ran into Saturday, and on the par-four 18th, Woods hooked his drive into the left fairway bunker.
The ball settled near the left lip, and standing in the sand, he was closer to the ball than usual.
But instead of chipping out, he reached for the flat, unforgiving blade of a 3-iron, hoisting it high over trees to find the green.
“The wind was blowing about 25-30 mph off the left,” added Woods. “The lip was in front of me, trees were in front of me, [I had a] downhill lie and somehow I hit it – I don’t know how I hit it that solid, that clean, that flush and drew it up against the wind and held it, landed about 20ft away.”
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His playing partner Ernie Els looked on in admiration.
“Ernie was in the fairway giving me the universal sign for number one in his heart, and after that I made the putt,” Woods said.
Woods finished the tournament as runner-up, one stroke behind countryman Rich Beem, but went on to win a further six majors – his most recent triumph coming at the 2008 US Open.
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The 41-year-old, who is struggling with back issues, still trails Jack Nicklaus’ major record by four.