Jack Nicklaus said it was “the most unbelievable, gutsy shot I have ever seen,” CBS Sports analyst Gary McCord tagged it “sick,” and Tiger Woods called his clutch chip-in for birdie at the par-3 16th hole on Sunday at the Memorial Tournament, “sweet.”
It was one of those moments in Tiger Woods history that will have fans remembering where they were when the now 73-time PGA Tour winner hit a flop shot for the ages. After knocking a full 8-iron from the tee 205 yards away into the rough behind the green, Woods took aim with another full swing, but this time it was a wide-open wedge from the deep stuff, looking down at the water.
Woods positioned his club, swung mightily and watched as the ball hit the slope on the exquisitely quick green and dove into the hole. Fist pumps ensued as the crowd's roar echoed across Ohio. Game. Set. Match.
“That was one of the most incredible golf shots I think you’ll ever see played,” Nicklaus, who hosts the annual event at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, said from the CBS booth. “It wasn’t just the pitch shot; it was where he had to land it, what he had to do, and what the penalties were if he didn’t make it. Unbelievable.”
Nicklaus expanded on his amazement during a joint press conference after Woods tied him for second place on the all-time tour wins list.
“He had one place to land the ball, he's playing a shot that if he leaves it short, he's going to leave himself again a very difficult shot, if he hits it long, he's going to probably lose the tournament,” Nicklaus said. “He lands the ball exactly where it has to land. It doesn't make a difference whether it went in the hole or not. Going in the hole was a bonus.
“But what a shot,” Nicklaus opined. “I don't think under the circumstances I've ever seen a better shot.”