The Golf Blog: Tiger Woods loses 4 shot lead + tourney as Graeme McDowell sinks back-to-back bomb birdie putts

mulligan, 05 December 2010, Comments Off on The Golf Blog: Tiger Woods loses 4 shot lead + tourney as Graeme McDowell sinks back-to-back bomb birdie putts
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The Golf Blog says: Wow. The Golf Blog spoke too soon. Thinking that a 4-shot lead going into Sunday would be enough for Tiger Woods to seal his 1st victory in over a year, we all but gave him the tourney yesterday. But after Tiger missed several short putts in the opening nine, Graeme McDowell eventually found himself with a 2-shot lead (gaining 6 shots on Tiger) going into the par-3 17th.

That’s when things got really interesting. Tiger teed off first and put his shot safely on the green, maybe 15 to 20 feet from the hole. Graeme went next and proceeded to hook his iron into some tall, yellowy hay. The ball was unplayable. What it made it worse was the hay was all over the place, so McDowell had no lie anywhere within 2 club lengths. So McDowell decided to go back up the hill to a different tee — apparently you can go back as far as you want — where he dropped in some nice rough next to the other tee. Hitting a blind shot, McDowell hit a miraculous pitch–truly miraculous and maybe a bit lucky shot!–over a tree and down the hill onto the green, maybe 10 feet away. Tiger 2 putted for par. McDowell then sunk his putt for bogey–that putt saved the tournament for GMac! Both were now tied at -16.

On the 18th hole, Tiger laid up with a 3-wood. McDowell blasted a driver 30 yards past Tiger. But Tiger, from 183 yards away, stuffed his iron about 3 or 4 feet from the pin–advantage Tiger. From about 147 yards, McDowell pulled his iron to about 20 feet from the pin. At this point, the smart money would have been on Tiger to win. However, McDowell putted 1st and sunk his birdie! The Irishman then clutched his fists and stared in the direction of Tiger and the fans. Tiger then sunk his short birdie putt. Playoff!

Playoff: The players went back to the 18th hole. Both used 3 woods. Tiger ended up on the left side of the fairway. GMac ended up on the right side intermediate cut. GMac went first and hit a draw with his ball ending up in close to the same spot as before, only this time further away (maybe 30 feet). From the left side, Tiger hit a cut to avoid some trees on the left. He thought it was good as he walked with his follow through, only the ball ended up a little shorter than he wanted (maybe 20 feet).

GMac putted first. He played the left to right break beautifully again as the huge birdie putt dropped again!! Tiger then need to make his putt, but the ball slid by, tantalizingly close.

WOW! What a win for GMac!

UPDATE: The only other head-to-head, final round duel that we can think of that Tiger lost was the battle between Tiger and Hal Sutton, in which Hal barked his now famous line, “Be the right club, TODAY!” Graeme McDowell’s duel was much more dramatic, however, given that GMac had to come from behind by 4 shots (Sutton was leading going into the final round) and GMac hit a miraculous wedge on 17th, plus 3 clutch 1-putts on the final 3 holes (including the monster putt in the playoff). Those putts were huge! No one has ever done that to Tiger before his very eyes.


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