No Tiger Woods: Top 10 Shots of 2010
This year may well be remembered as the nightmare that wouldn't end for the world's No. 1 golfer. But perhaps it would be better to remember it as the year the rest of the field caught Tiger.
Many golfers stepped up in 2010, including the likes of Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar, Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy and a host of others.
Here's one man's attempt at nailing down the 10 biggest shots of the year. Some of the shots on the list are there not only because they are great golf shots, but also because of the situation in which they were produced. Pressure shots in pressure situations.
One shot is on the list not for being a great shot, but for being perhaps the most talked about shot of the year. Hint: "Bunker? What bunker?"
10. Stuart Appleby
Stuart Appleby's birdie putt on No. 18 at the Greenbrier Classic doesn't seem so extraordinary at first glance. It was only 10 feet, after all. Routine, right?
What made it special is it capped off a round of 59.
Not so ordinary after all.
9. Matt Kuchar
Kuchar, who had a great year, won the Barclays with this great shot on the 18th hole in sudden death to beat Martin Laird.
8. Dustin Johnson
Here's the shot we alluded to in the introduction. Not a great shot, but memorable because of the situation. Johnson, who later claimed he didn't know he was in a bunker, grounded his club before the shot and he was penalized two strokes.
This effectively cost him the PGA Championship. Had the penalty not occurred, Johnson most likely would have ended up in a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson. Kaymer ended up winning the playoff.
7. Graeme McDowell
McDowell makes the top 10 twice. This first entry from him was his extraordinary putting at the end of the final round and in the playoff to beat Tiger Woods.
6. Miguel Angel Jimenez
The Spaniard's shot at St. Andrews at the British Open didn't help him win the trophy, but it was memorable nonetheless. Off the stone wall at the 17th on the old course and onto the green.
He must be deadly with a pool cue.
5. Jim Furyk
A good bunker save in most situations from Furyk, but in this situation it was a great bunker save. This up-and-down secured the $10 million Fed Ex Champion prize money for Furyk. He also won a million for winning the Tour Championship, giving him an $11 million payday.
That is not bad for a day's work.
4. Jonathan Byrd
How many guys can say they won a PGA golf tournament with an ace on the final shot? Not many.
In fact, how about a grand total of one? Jonathan Byrd.
This ace in overtime gave him the win at the Justin Timberlake tournament in Las Vegas.
Think he went to the casinos afterward to press his luck?
3. Phil Mickelson
Mickelson had perhaps his worst year as a professional in almost two decades, but there was one big bright spot. That bright spot was winning the Masters in April.
The highlight of that Masters title was surely this remarkable shot from the trees on the 13th hole in the final round.
2. Rickie Fowler
The Americans lost the Ryder Cup in Wales this past October, but it wasn't without a lot of drama on the final day in singles. The Yanks almost pulled off one of the great comebacks in Ryder Cup history, only to fall a half-point shy of retaining the cup.
Rickie Fowler had the most memorable match for the Americans, coming from way behind to catch Edoardo Molinari. His putt on the final hole was the shot of the tournament for the Americans.
1. Graeme McDowell
We promised you another McDowell shot in the top 10 and here it is, checking in at No. 1.
McDowell's singles match on the final day of the Ryder Cup against American Hunter Mahan was the final match of the day and the deciding one.
If Mahan could have tied the match and gotten a half-point for the U.S., they would have retained the cup.
But the putt on No. 16 by Irishman McDowell all but sealed the deal for Europe. It is a putt that will go down in Ryder Cup history as one of the great shots of all-time and it is our shot of 2010.