Your favorite professional golf moments from 2013 | A Quick Nine

Jarrod Lyle
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It's hard to argue with our friends in Facebook Nation who identified Jarrod Lyle's return to golf at the Australian Masters -- after a second bout with cancer -- as one of the great professional golf moments in 2013.
By T.J. Auclair
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Series: A Quick Nine

Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 | 10:38 a.m.

Professional golf spoils us with incredible moments over the course of each calendar year.

Whether it's a hole-in-one, a monster of a putt, or a hole-out from the fairway with everything on the line -- 2013, like every other year -- provided some great drama on the course.

In this week's, "A Quick Nine," we reached out to our friends in Facebook Nation (Click here to join the masses!) and asked them to answer the question: What was your favorite golf moment (professional golf) from 2013?

Many great answers rolled in. Here are the best of the best, along with video of the moment outlined.

9. Tiger Woods winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational by an incredible seven shots. Few golf courses fit Tiger's eye better than Firestone in Akron, Ohio. Back in August, he won there for the eighth time in his career -- his 79th career PGA Tour victory. Woods distanced himself from the field with an amazing second round of 9-under 61. For that one week, Tiger looked like the Tiger of the early 2000s, who didn't just win, but completely dominated the competition.



8. Sometimes you don't have to look too far for a great moment. Many of our Facebook friends identified Zach Johnson's, 72nd hole, hole out from 59 yards at Sherwood Country Club over the weekend -- which set up a playoff with Tiger Woods -- as one of those great moments. Johnson would go on to defeat Woods on the first hole of that playoff in the World Challenge.



7. Tiger Woods winning the Players Championship. As beautiful as the golf courses are week in and week out on the PGA Tour, the players have their favorites and least favorites. TPC Sawgrass, annual host of the Players Championship, falls into the latter category for Woods. Prior to 2013, Woods had won the tournament once in 2001. Other than that, he hadn't experienced a whole lot of professional success at TPC Sawgrass (he did win the 1994 U.S. Amateur there). This was a special one for Woods.



6. Jason Dufner's win at the PGA Championship. Oak Hill, site of the 2013 PGA Championship, is a classic Donald Ross design. It was fitting that a guy with a classic, Ben Hogan-esque swing would win there. Dufner was clinical throughout the week at Oak Hill, striping drives down the center line of the fairway and delivering stellar approach after stellar approach. It was also nice to see Dufner get redemption just two years after that difficult playoff loss to his buddy Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA at Atlanta Athletic Club.



5. Phil Mickelson's unbelievable pitch shot in a playoff at the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart. Mickelson has made a career out of making seemingly impossible shots not only look possible, but easy. This was one of them. Mickelson was in a playoff with Branden Grace on Castle Stuart's par-5 18th hole. Short of the green in two, Mickelson was left with an awkward pitch from an extremely tight lie. With 64-degree wedge in hand, Mickelson proceeded to hit an incredible pitch that landed on the green, took a couple of skips and danced backwards to within one foot of the hole to set up what would be a winning birdie. No doubt this win gave Mickelson the confidence to believe he could win the following week in the Open Championship -- which he did.



4. PGA Professional Rob Labritz provided one of the best spine-tingling moments of 2013. Labritz, part of a playoff at the PGA Professional National Championship in Sunriver, Ore., to determine the final spots for PGA Professionals in the PGA Championship field, holed a 95-yard wedge shot for birdie to lock up the PGA berth. Labritz looked to be in trouble after a tough-luck second shot, but miraculously holed his third shot.

This, from reader David Sanchez: "Nothing beats Rob Labritz holing out to get the last spot in the PGA at the PNC. And to top it off, he was an Assistant Golf Pro at Monarch back in the day, and I am now the Head Pro. Couldn't be prouder of someone who works so hard. Like the greats always said, 'the harder I practice, the luckier I get.' Awesome job, Rob. So proud."



3. Phil Mickelson's final-round 66 at Muirfield en route to winning the Open Championship. What made this win so special is that Mickelson had struggled for so long in this particular major, seemingly unable to figure out the best way to approach links golf. At Muirfield, not only did Mickelson figure it out, but he romped to a three-shot victory in that final round, powered birdies on four of his final six holes.



2. Adam Scott's long birdie putt on the 72nd hole at Augusta National, which would eventually earn him a spot in a playoff with Angel Cabrera. Normally a pretty reserved player who never gets too excited, Scott went crazy when he holed this putt on the final hole of regulation, famously screaming, "C'mon, Aussie!" Not long after, Scott would win the playoff to become the first Australian-born player to win the Masters.



1. Jarrod Lyle's return to professional golf at the Australian Masters. The 32-year-old Aussie marked his return to competitive golf after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia -- the second time he has beat that form of cancer in his lifetime. It was an emotional opening tee shot for Lyle at Royal Melbourne and one that golf fans could never forget.



Writer's honorable mention: No offense to our readers, but how about Justin Rose's incredible win at Merion in the U.S. Open? That one was somehow overlooked, but we know you meant to include it! Right? 



Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.