If I was a professional writer, I’d come up with a lengthy and eloquent story about this year’s Masters. Since I’m not, I’m going to say this: WOW!
Chris DiMarco and Tiger started their 3rd round back nine this morning at -13 and -9 respectively. The 3rd round back 9 would be nightmare for DiMarco. Tiger blasted a drive down #10 “80 yards ahead of me” according to DiMarco. DiMarco doubled that hole while Tiger birdied #10 and #11. Soon the -13 -9 figure would be reversed with Tiger out front and DiMarco shooting a 41. Tiger’s 65 in round 3 included a stretch of 7 birdies in a row. The only people to see this great 9 holes were the “patrons” who were there.
I sat and watched the final round in the clubhouse at my Sunday men’s league tournament, after placing 2nd and winning two cases of bottled water. Big money. What a great atmosphere. Half the crowd wanted Tiger and half DiMarco.
The battle on the back 9 was epic. At points in time when it looked like Tiger could run away and hide, DiMarco would fight his way back into it.
On the par 3 16th, with Tiger up by two shots, DiMarco hit the green and had an uphill birdie putt. Tiger pulled his tee shot to a collection area left of the green and had a near impossible chance at chipping the ball close. So what does he do? Chips it in! Given the time and place, that is one of the best shots I’ve ever seen and could be the best in Masters history aside from Gene Sarazen’s “shot heard round the world.”
Tiger pushed his drive on 17 a good 40-50 yards right. He had to sky a wedge over the trees between 17 and 15 fairways and ended up short. He was unable to get up and down for par and gave up one of his 2 shot cushion as DiMarco parred.
On 18 DiMarco missed the green short. Tiger flared an 8 iron into the right bunker. Tiger was unable to get up and down and made his second bogey in a row, opening the door for DiMarco to make par and force a playoff. That’s just what he did.
Overtime would start on the 18th hole. Once again DiMarco hit the green on 18, but spun back and rolled almost into exactly the same location he did in regulation. Tiger hit the green, almost in the same spot that Phil Mickelson birdied from to win last year’s Masters. DiMarco hit an even better chip and left himself a tap-in par. All Tiger has to do is make birdie to win his 9th professional major. He did.