Ranking the Best Shots on the PGA Tour in 2014 so Far
There's a commercial currently airing on television that says everyone hits great shots, but the pros just hit more of them.
Well, we know the guys who play on the PGA Tour make great shots routinely. If you don't think so, play a course on which the PGA Tour holds an event. To get the full effect, play it the day after the event ends and see in person where pins are tucked and remember how those PGA Tour players are able to get at them.
As usual, there has been no shortage of great shots and the following list reflects those.
Did I remember all of those shots? No, I didn't. But how could anyone forget Rory McIlroy's 245-yard 5-wood at the Honda Classic or Matt Kuchar's hole-out from a green-side bunker on the final hole of the RBC Classic at Harbour Town?
Through some intense research, I came up with what I believe to be the nine best shots of 2014 to this point.
9. Ken Duke's Ace
At the 110-yard 17th hole on the PGA West's Palmer Course in the final round of the Humana Challenge, Ken Duke hit a sand wedge that hit about a foot from the hole and gently rolled into the cup for a hole-in-one.
Duke needed the ace, as he was one over par at the time.
He then performed his own version of a celebration dance, a dance that will never be confused with James Hahn's Gangnam Style moves at the Phoenix Open last year.
8. Keegan Bradley's Near-Albatross
At the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Keegan Bradley found himself in a fairway bunker on the seventh hole at TPC of Louisiana.
He had a good lie in the bunker, which had virtually no lip on it. That enabled him to take a hybrid and really hammer it.
Bradley did just that, and the shot was on line all the way. It landed on the green near the front edge and rolled just past the pin, nearly going in for a two, which would have been an albatross.
7. James Hahn's Albatross
James Hahn put his name in the record books when he recorded that rare albatross at the Sony Open.
Playing the ninth hole at the Waialae Country Club, a 497-yard par five, Hahn's drive found the rough on the right side of the fairway.
His second shot, from 193 yards, hit just short of the green, bounced up and rolled into the cup for a two on the par five.
It was the first albatross on the PGA Tour since Charl Schwartzel pulled one off in the 2013 RBC Canadian Open and was one of two to be registered that day. On the European Tour, Joost Luiten had one at the Volvo Golf Champions.
6. Tiger Woods' Long Putt
Let's face it, 2014 will be a year Tiger Woods will want to forget about rather quickly.
A lousy start and a balky back that required surgery have basically wiped out the year.
One of the very few highlights has to be the 91-foot, seven-inch putt he made at the newly renovated Doral Country Club in the Cadillac Championship.
On the fourth hole there, a par-three, 209-yard monster, Woods' putt had to traverse a pair of slopes before tracking to the hole for a birdie.
5. Tom Watson's Backward Chip
Tom Watson has pulled off thousands of great shots during his illustrious career, and he did it again at the Champions Tour Toshiba Classic.
His tee shot on a par three ended up left of the green and very close to a tree trunk. Watson couldn't get an address position because the ball was so close to the tree.
So he did what every golfer would do. He turned his back to the hole, turned his club around and took several practice swings blindly.
When he was ready, he took a swing for real and not only made clean contact with the ball, but his shot also rolled across the green, hit the flag stick and stopped 20 feet from the pin.
4. Matt Jones' Long Bomb
Give Matt Jones credit for having a flair for the dramatic.
In the Shell Houston Open, Matt Kuchar stood on the final tee box with a two-shot lead, but he bogeyed the final hole and Jones birdied it.
They went to a playoff on the same hole.
Jones came up short with his second shot and hit the chip shot perfectly, and when it fell into the hole, he had his first PGA Tour victory and a spot in the 2015 Masters.
3. Victor Dubuisson's Desert Magic
Young Frenchman Victor Dubuisson gets two entries as a tandem in this list.
Because both of the shots were made in the same round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
As Dubuisson and Jason Day battled through the final match, they found themselves deadlocked in extra holes. On both the 19th and 20th holes, Dubuisson missed the green with his approach shot.
He found himself in rocks, sand and cactus plants with little or no apparent shot. But on both occasions, he came up with a miraculous shot and saved par.
Unfortunately, Dubuisson ran out of miracles, and Day won the match on the 23rd hole.
2. Matt Kuchar's Chip-in
It looked as though Matt Kuchar was headed toward another disappointing but lucrative runner-up finish on the PGA Tour.
He made a three-putt bogey on the 71st hole to fall into a first-place tie with Luke Donald as he stood on the final tee box. Kuchar's drive found the fairway, but his approach shot found the green-side bunker.
All of a sudden, a playoff seemed like a probable result.
But Kuchar hit the perfect bunker shot that hit softly on the green, rolled toward the hole and disappeared for a tournament-winning birdie.
1. Rory McIlroy's 5-Wood
It seems like a long time ago, but it really wasn't that Rory McIlroy was playing better golf than anybody on the planet. And as such, he could make all of the shots.
That hasn't been the case recently, as he has struggled to get his game back together.
But in the final round of the Honda Classic, McIlroy stood in the fairway of the final hole, a 549-yard par five. He had 245 yards left to the pin, which was located to the far right of the green, not far from the water.
Instead of trying to cut his shot in there, with the hope of it rolling down to the pin, McIlroy took dead aim at the flag stick and ripped a 5-wood that came down softly, leaving him 15 feet for an eagle and the win.
He missed the putt, however, and lost in a playoff to Russell Henley.
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