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Which putts are the most clutch in golf history?

By T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer
Published on

Which putt was the most clutch in golf history?

That's the question we asked our PGA.com Facebook friends to answer for this week's, 'A Quick Nine,' feature. While there were endless putts to choose from, here are the nine that stuck out most in your minds.

9. Hale Irwin in the 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah.

 

 

Needing a birdie on the final hole to force a tie, Irwin holed an unthinkable 65-footer and ran around the green in a, "victory lap," -- though the victory would have to wait until the next day. Still tied after an 18-hole playoff with Mike Donald, Irwin birdied the first hole of sudden death to be become the oldest champion in U.S. Open history at the age of 45.

Facebook fan quote:

"Let us not forget Hale Irwin's putt on the 72nd hole in the 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah... and the high fives around the green!" -- Steve Medema

8. Tiger Woods in the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla.

 

 

It may have only been a 6-footer for birdie, but it was one Woods needed in order to force a playoff with Bob May. As we expected in those days, Woods made the putt and went on to win the tournament.

Facebook fan quote:

"Tiger Woods putt on 18 at the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla to force a playoff with Bob May. One of the best head-to-head match ups in golf history!" -- John Kuczeski

7. Davis Love III at Winged Foot in the 1997 PGA Championship.

 

 

It's still hard to imagine that the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain only has one major win. But, if you're going to do it once, you may as well do it in style. You'd think that a 5-shot victory would make for an anticlimactic finish, but that wasn't the case at Winged Foot, where Love holed a 15-foot birdie putt at the last with a rainbow overhead, symbolic of his father -- the late Davis Love Jr. -- who was a renowned PGA Professional.

Facebook fan quote:

"Davis Love III putt on No. 18 at the 1997 PGA Championship/rainbow in the sky." -- John Kuczeski

6. Constantino Rocca at St. Andrews in the 1995 Open Championship.

 

 

This was golf's version of a Hail Mary for the Italian golfer. Needing a birdie at the last to force a playoff with John Daly, Rocca left himself in the toughest spot on the hole for his third shot -- 60 feet from the hole, sitting in the Valley of Sin. Incredibly, he made the putt, leading to an unbelievable outpouring of emotions. However, he would go on to lose the playoff.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Rocca on No. 18 at the Old Course in 1995 to force a playoff with John Daly." -- Dan Trotta

"Costantino Rocco: 1995 British Open to tie John Daly and push it to a playoff." -- Blake Pawluk

5. Tiger Woods on No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass in the 2001 Players Championship.

 

 

From the back of the green, Woods was left with a 60-foot, downhill, triple-breaker for birdie. As the ball crept closer and closer to the hole, announcer Gary Koch kept saying the words, "Better than most," before it dropped in and Tiger started upper-cutting the air on the way to his only Players win to date.

Facebook fan quotes:

"The sickest one has to be Tiger Woods at the 2001 Players Championship. 17th hole at Sawgrass, double breaker. It really doesn't get any better then that." -- Leo Chuck Donohue

"Better than most... better than most... better than most." -- Brennan Swanson

4. Jack Nicklaus on No. 17 at Augusta National in the 1986 Masters.

 

 

It was certainly the most famous Masters of all time with a 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus winning the last of his six green jackets. But, he couldn't have done it without the remarkable final round that included an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to take the lead. Before the putt even dropped, Nicklaus raised his putter because he knew it was in.

Facebook fan quotes:

"By far... Jack's putt on No. 17 in the 1986 Masters." -- Tracy Matthews

"Jack's LEGENDARY putt in the 1986 Masters!" -- Nathan Burgess

3. Tiger Woods on the 72nd hole at Torrey Pines in the 2008 U.S. Open.

 

 

We all know the back story here -- Woods was pretty much playing on a broken leg, but wasn't going to miss this U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, one of his favorite courses in the world. Rocco Mediate was in the clubhouse with a one-shot lead, as Woods played the final hole needing a birdie to force a playoff. After surveying the putt from every angle, Woods stepped up to the 15-footer and knocked it in. The crowd, Tiger and then-caddie Steve Williams went bonkers when it dropped. The next day, Woods would slip past Mediate in 19 holes of a playoff.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Tiger on 18 at Torrey Pines! He is the man!" -- El E Trep

"Tiger's birdie putt to force playoff in the U.S. Open 2008." -- Sean Wright

"Tiger's putt during the 2008 U.S. Open -- 15 feet to force playoff with Rocco Mediate." -- Weston Soto

2. Payne Stewart in the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

 

 

Just months before his death in a horrible plane crash, Stewart left golf fans around the world with one putt we'd never forget. With the rain falling down on an early June evening at Pinehurst, Stewart holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the tournament on Father's Day. His reaction with the fist in the air is iconic.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Hard to top Payne Stewart's putt!" -- Brian Wetzel

"Payne Stewart US OPEN!" -- Bow Lee

"Payne Stewart U.S. Open, nuff said." -- Jakob D. Patch

"Payne Stewart without a doubt in the U.S. Open!' -- Travis Wilson

"Payne Stewart on the 72nd hole at Pinehurst to win the 1999 US Open. The most pure and clutch putt I have witnessed." -- Bill Fox

1. Justin Leonard at Brookline in the 1999 Ryder Cup.

 

 

Whether you think Leonard's 45-footer that clinched a U.S. victory in the 1999 Ryder Cup is the best clutch putt of all time or not, there's no denying it's one of the most memorable putts in the history of the game.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Justin Leonard's BOMB in the Ryder Cup!" -- Dan Nygard

"Justin Leonard's Ryder Cup clinching putt." -- Eric Sedransk

"Justin Leonard at Brookline." -- Chris Laird

"Leonard's putt at Ryder Cup -- amazing way to cap the comeback." -- Rob Cinco

"Justin Leonard in the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline. He had a match, team and country on his back, not to mention it was about a 45-footer." -- Sammy Wammy Russell 

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