Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shot that pleased golf gods

Each year the US PGA golf tour culminates in Federal Cup, the richest prize money event in golf. This year it was for a purse of ten million dollars [How much it is in rupees? Fifty crores?]. It is not the money that provided the excitement but the way the final holes were played. When the 18 holes were played out there were two players who tied at minus 8. Hunter Mahan and Bill Haas. They had to play a sudden death playoff. The designated holes were 18th and the 17th. It did not matter if Hunter Mahan won, he would get the cup but not the money, but it mattered to Bill. If he won he would get the cup and money as the accumulated points would put him in the first place.

The Drama began with the first playoff hole; the 18th is a long and tough three par. Bill was first to tee off and his shot went right to the right side of the green behind a bunker and landed in light rough. Mahan was next. His shot too went right into a bunker. Both hit great shots and parred the hole. They walked [buggy ride really] to the next playoff hole 17th. This is a difficult par four with water on the left and bunkers on the right. Bill’s drive found the right side bunker and Mahan’s long and perfect drive found the fairway and he was just 100 yards from the green. Advantage Mahan. Bills shot from the sand hit the sloping green and rolled over the edge to sit in water, half of the ball visible. Bill only knew that his ball had gone to the water and maybe he would have to take a penalty drop and thus lose the match and everything else. Mahan’s shot ended some 20 ft from the pin. Both players walked to the green and Bill to where his ball lay.

He now had a shot some twenty feet to the pin. The ball is sitting half in and half out surrounded on all sides by water. Facing him, a steep up slope and then five feet of green and then the pin. He now had to play one of the most difficult shots in golf. Even to get it up on to the green would be considered a great shot. Bill went down with one foot in water and the other just out, hovered his club face and then hit the water. The replay showed a sheet of water propelling the ball up and out in a beautiful arc and landing two feet away from the pin and stop dead. He got his par and so did Mahan and then in the next play off Bill got his par and Mahan a bogy and thus Bill Hass watched by his illustrious father Jay Hass won the trophy and prize money.

I have seen many great golf shots but this one is probably the best I have ever watched.

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