Memorable shots with every club in the bag

By Doug Ferguson
Published on
Memorable shots with every club in the bag

NASSAU, Bahamas — Jordan Spieth hit a 3-wood from 281 yards. Zach Johnson hit a putt that traveled about 30 feet.

Both resulted in a major championship.

Every club in the bag had a story to tell in 2015, a year on the PGA Tour marked by big wins, clutch shots and frustration that golf so often produces. So here's a look back at some of the most memorable shots involving each club in the bag.

DRIVER: Not all great shots are rewarded, as Dustin Johnson discovered in the U.S. Open. He was one shot behind going to the par-5 18th at Chambers Bay and facing a landing zone so tight because of his length that it required near perfection. The drive was so pure that he had only a 5-iron into the green. He had a 12-foot eagle putt to win. And then a 4-foot birdie putt to force a playoff. And then a tap-in par for a cruel finish.

3-WOOD: Moments before Johnson launched his drive on the 18th hole, Spieth pulled off a clutch shot of his own. Coming off a mess of a double bogey on the 17th hole that cost him the lead, Spieth hit 3-wood from 281 yards that ran up the back of the green and rolled back to about 10 feet below the hole for a two-putt birdie, which gave him a second straight major.

5-WOOD: Louis Oosthuizen was all square with Rickie Fowler on the 18th hole at Harding Park with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals of the Match Play Championship. Oosthuizen was in the right rough. Fowler was in the fairway. The South African drilled a 5-wood that landed 20 yards short of the green and rolled 20 feet behind the hole. He never had to attempt his eagle putt. Fowler missed well to the right and took two more shots to get on the green.

3-IRON: This wasn't a great shot. It was a great throw. Rory McIlroy had 3-iron into the par-5 eighth hole at Doral when he pulled it left into the water. He then rotated his hips and let the club fly some 50 yards in the middle of the lake. Donald Trump hired scuba divers to retrieve the club and he presented it to McIlroy before Sunday's final round. McIlroy used it once Sunday. On the 18th hole. It went in the water — but only the golf ball.

4-IRON: Closing in on his first major, Jason Day all but clinched it with a towering 4-iron to 20 feet on the par-5 16th at Whistling Straits in the PGA Championship. A two-putt birdie moved him to 20-under par, and two pars gave him a three-shot win and the first player to finish at 20 under in a major.

5-IRON: Padraig Harrington appeared to have the Honda Classic won until he hit 5-iron into the water on the par-3 17th at PGA National. Fortunate to be in a playoff, he won on the second extra hole with no small measure of redemption — a 5-iron into 3 feet on the 17th for a birdie to beat Daniel Berger.

6-IRON: In a wild match that featured chip-ins for halves on consecutive holes, Lee Westwood and Spieth were all square on the par-3 17th at Harding Park in a match that determined who won their group. Westwood hit a 6-iron that covered the flag and settled 12 feet away for birdie that carried him to the win.

7-IRON: Dustin Johnson was trying to make up ground on J.B. Holmes in the third round at Doral when he hit 7-iron onto the green and into the hole at the par-3 fourth. Twenty minutes later, Holmes also hit 7-iron that found the middle of the green and rolled in for another ace.

8-IRON: Phil Mickelson had 154 yards from a fairway bunker on No. 12 at the Valero Texas Open when he selected 8-iron. The ball came out soft and went only 100 yards, and for good reason. The head snapped off the club at impact, hit the lip and tumbled out of the bunker. Mickelson's reaction said it all. "What the heck?"

9-IRON: George McNeill used a 9-iron to ace the 18th hole at The Greenbrier in the first round, meaning owner Jim Justice lived up to his pledge of $100 cash to everyone watching (189 fans). Then, Justin Thomas used 9-iron for a hole-in-one, and Justice paid $500 to the 347 fans who were there. The next ace would be worth $1,000, and before long, some 1,700 fans were at No. 18. But there were no more aces.

PITCHING WEDGE: Shane Lowry hooked his tee shot so far left on the 10th hole at Firestone that he was given relief because the 11th tee was in the way. He opened the face of a pitching wedge, swung as hard as he could and hit it over a 50-foot tree to a foot for birdie on his way to winning the Bridgestone Invitational.

GAP WEDGE: Making a birdie on the island-green 17th at the TPC Sawgrass is good. Three times in one round? That's what Rickie Fowler did Sunday at The Players Championship, each time using a gap wedge even though the wind was slightly different. The last birdie was the winner.

LOB WEDGE: Spieth went from a seven-shot lead to a four-shot lead in a span of 10 minutes Saturday at the Masters. Then he hit his approach to the 18th into the gallery, right of the green, behind a bunker with the green running away from him. He hit a flop shot with his 60-degree wedge, a high-risk shot that brought a big reward when it settled 10 feet away. He saved par, the key shot in his victory.

PUTTER: Zach Johnson's only chance in the British Open was to birdie the final hole at St. Andrews. He rolled in a 30-foot putt that got him into a three-man playoff that he won for his second major.