Tiger Woods discusses incredible 2018 British Open bunker shot: 'I knew this was the moment'
That sand blast from Carnoustie? That takes Big Cat's top billing
We all have a favorite Tiger Woods shot, and we all have them categorically organized. There's the "best ever" folder. The "majors only" folder, and now, the "2018 folder." For you, it might be the one he hit to win the 2018 Tour Championship. For me, it was the mind-bender he worked out of the rough on the ninth hole in the final round of the 2018 PGA Championship.
Even Tiger Woods has a favorite Tiger Woods shot -- or at least one he considers the best. He was asked this question on Tuesday at the Hero World Challenge, and his answer wasn't super surprising, but it did remind me of just how remarkable his 2018 Open Championship was. The shot? This bunker blast out of the fairway on the 10th hole of his final round at Carnoustie.
"I thought, 'This is the tournament,'" said Woods. "'I win The Open Championship or lose The Open Championship on this shot. If it clips the bunker, I lose. If it comes out, I'm going to go ahead and win this thing.' You saw the speed I put into it and the shot I hit.
"To be able to pull that off knowing that I hadn't done this in a very long time. I knew this was the moment. This was going to turn and this is how I was going to win this tournament because this is what I've done before in the past. There are moments when in a tournament where you know this is the shot that's going to win or lose the event. Unfortunately, I didn't win it, but at the time to know it and pull it off, that gave me a lot of confidence going forward, to be honest with you."
Woods went on to make a remarkable par at the par-4 10th hole, which kept him at 2 under for the day and 7 under for the event, right at the top of the leaderboard at the time. He was undone, though, by a double bogey-bogey stretch over the next two holes, and Francesco Molinari went on to win the event at 8 under. All week, Woods had laid back a bit before he started attacking on the weekend. It almost worked. Woods nearly won The Open less than a year after starting his (most recent) comeback to professional golf.
"I know I was mocked a little bit for my game plan with the media and some of the people outside of the game, but I was playing my own game and my game plan was to put myself there with a chance and win the golf tournament," said Woods. "And I did that, I just didn't win the golf tournament.
"Looking back on The Open Championship, that gave me a lot of ... confidence to go into the end of the summer because I was able to formulate a game plan, stick to my game plan, execute it, and on top of that, put myself there where I was the one leading it at one point on the back nine."
Partly because of the best shot he hit all year (according to him), I remember in the moment being blown away by the speed and ferocity at which he hit that shot. I remember thinking when it landed on the green, "My gosh, Tiger's going to win The Open." I think he thought the same.
And he almost did.
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