A season removed from his from his Saturday Slam (when he led all four majors going into the final round and won only the British Open), Greg Norman tied at 285 with Seve Ballesteros and Augusta native Larry Mize. As the playoff commenced, a win by either Norman or Ballesteros seemed certain, but Seve bowed out with a three-putt at the 10th. When Mize missed the 11th green way right, Norman was an easy two-putt from at least pushing the playoff another hole after playing safely to the center of the green. But Mize and Norman were equally blown away by what came next: Mize cleanly clipped a sand wedge off the turf and rolled it 140 feet into the hole. In the aftermath of this stunner, Norman morosely missed his desperate birdie try from less than half the distance Mize had chipped in from. Of all the heartbreak Norman suffered at the Masters, this shot, this day, was the most shocking. However, it was Mize's celebratory jig after his shot fell, and the answering roar of the crowd (which Norman said literally shook the ground), that's kept this Augusta snapshot unforgettable.
Larry Mize on the shot
"I don't know who came up with 140 feet. Greg [Norman] could have. I have not been back to that spot since I chipped it in and ran around. It kept the memory pure, so when I see that shot over again, that's the last time I was in that spot. A golf publication wanted me to go back and try the shot again but I declined. I know Bob Tway went back and hit his shot again [which also beat Norman, at the 1986 PGA at Inverness], and they wanted me to go back and do the same thing. I used a sand wedge, not a lot of spin. I decided to play a bump and run since the greens were so firm. Once it hit on the grass short of the green it kind of took the spin off, so once it got on the green it rolled like a putt. I remember thinking I wanted to be very aggressive and try to get it up there close to the hole. I remember it being very clear [that sand wedge was the right club], and that was one of the real positives about the situation. Because of the firmness of the greens, there was no other option, there was no indecisiveness. I remember being frozen there watching it, and thinking it looked pretty good."
On the roar:
"There was a big roar. I probably didn't notice it as much because I was running around, shaking my fist and screaming. Total jubilation. He [Norman] had about a 50-60 footer, a fairly lengthy putt to tie me. You never know, so I had to be ready to go to the next hole, 12, which I had birdied [earlier that day.]"
On the ball:
"I believe the ball is in a box in my closet, inside the glove I wore that day. Putting it on the mantle just isn't me. I've got the whole outfit, the shoes, the shirt and the pants, and the glove and ball, and they're in that box. I don't know if it [the box] is marked."
On the odds of holing the shot:
[Norman wrote in his book, The Way of the Shark, that the odds of Mize holing the shot were 10,000 to 1]. "I would say he's pretty close. You're not expecting someone to chip in from that length, especially on those greens at Augusta."
On his relationship with Norman:
"We're fine. I think people thought there was a problem between us, but when you're out there playing you're trying to beat the guy whether he's an acquaintance or not. We talked at Hilton Head the week after. I had been in one sudden death before, Greg and I, '86 at Kemper. He beat me on the 6th extra hole. That was probably a positive for me in '87."