Masters 2013: They'll take their shots, and others'
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. Yet another example that the Masters is unlike any other tournament: Many players make sure they try and duplicate memorable shots from previous tournaments.
And, yes, you can add Bubba Watson’s unforgettable playoff shot to the very top of the list.
“I’ll look at a new shot on the right-hand trees of 10,” Padraig Harrington said, referencing the area from where Watson hooked a wedged shot some 40 yards to set up his winning play on the second extra hole.
“That’s what you do (when you arrive at Augusta). The first thing you do is head into the trees and look at the shot for yourself. You’ve seen it on TV. Now, you want to see it for real.”
Players being different as they are, Harrington sees it one way and Brandt Snedeker another. To Harrington, standing where Watson was presents a shot he thinks he could maneuver. “It’s easier to cut the ball than draw it,” said the right-handed player. But to Snedeker, another righty, forget it.
“Not for me,” said Snedeker, who favors the right-to-left ball flight. “I won’t try it. I can’t try and hit that shot.”
But the reigning FedEx Cup champion does agree with Harrington that it’s part of the Masters charm to try and re-create memorable shots made by others. “Everyone can remember a shot at Augusta,” Snedeker said.
Phil Mickelson’s unforgettable shot from trees at 13 en route to his third green jacket in 2010? Snedeker laughed. “I’ve been there. That’s just Mickelson at his finest.”
The iconic Larry Mize pitch-and-run that found the bottom of the cup from short right of the 11th fairway and crushed Greg Norman’s spirits in 1987? Snedeker nodded his head, because he’s taken a try at it several times and so has Harrington.
But the Irishman added two others that he tries. One is the unforgettable chip-in from the back of the 16th green, a shot that paved the way for Tiger Woods’ 2005 Masters win. The other would be the long second shot into the 15th green that Seve Ballesteros pulled into the water to ruin his chances at victory and open the door for Jack Nicklaus’ historic sixth win.
Why practice a shot that known for such misery? Vintage Harrington: He explained it as if it were an exorcism.
“He duffed it in the water. I don’t try and duff it, but this is the problem with the course. You gain experience, but you have excess baggage. Everyone carries a few scars that they remember.”