Augusta National’s 13th hole is iconic for aesthetic, strategic, and competitive reasons. Over the years, it has played host to some of the Masters’ most consequential moments. Here are the 10 most memorable.
PHIL MICKELSON, FOURTH ROUND, 2010
Mickelson led by two following a birdie at 12, but a wayward drive right at 13 threatened to halt his momentum. His ball was sitting up nicely…atop pine straw, with only a four-foot gap between two pines on his line to the green. With 207 yards to the hole and 187 yards to clear the creek, Lefty went for broke. His hold-your-breath 6-iron stopped four feet from the cup, leading to a three-shot victory for his third green jacket.
[image:14100189]JACK NICKLAUS, FOURTH ROUND, 1986
Steaming after a bogey at 12, Nicklaus ripped a 3-wood tee shot so close to the left trees that son/caddie Jackie complained that his 24-year-old heart couldn’t take it. The Golden Bear’s subsequent 3-iron approach ended 30 feet from the hole, followed by a two-putt birdie, lighting the fuse for one of sport’s most memorable triumphs.
ARNOLD PALMER, FOURTH ROUND, 1958
With a lengthy rules dispute regarding his embedded ball at the 12th still undecided, Palmer marched over to 13, piped his drive dead-center, then nailed a 3-wood onto the green. He rammed home a 15-footer for eagle, the springboard to his first professional major win.
NICK FALDO, FOURTH ROUND, 1996
Having overcome a six-stroke starting deficit to Greg Norman, Faldo led by two when he faced a dilemma over second-shot club selection from the right edge of the fairway, 228 yards out on a sidehill lie. Faldo eventually switched out his 5-wood for a 2-iron and found the green. He made birdie on his way to a five-shot victory.
BUBBA WATSON, FOURTH ROUND, 2014
Despite a comfortable lead over Jordan Spieth, Watson risked driver off the tee. Sailing high and cutting, his moonshot ticked the tree line on the left but still found the fairway, so far down that just a 56-degree sand wedge in remained. An eventual two-putt birdie was soon followed by Bubba’s second green jacket.
ERNIE ELS, FOURTH ROUND, 2002
Trailing Tiger Woods by three, Els heeled his drive deep into the trees left of Rae’s Creek. His aggressive recovery shot caught foliage, dropping his ball into the creek. The Big Easy found the greenside tributary as well on his way to a crushing 8.
CURTIS STRANGE, FOURTH ROUND, 1985
Rebounding from a first-round 80, Strange held a two-shot lead as he stood over a 208-yard approach. His 4-wood came up short at water’s edge; he left another shot down by the creek en route to a bogey 6. Strange would lose by two shots to Bernhard Langer.
BILLY JOE PATTON, FOURTH ROUND, 1954
Bidding to become the first amateur to win the Masters, Patton led Ben Hogan by one when he chose to try to reach in two. His 4-wood hit the fringe and popped back into the creek, leading to a double-bogey 7. Patton finished a shot out of the Hogan/Sam Snead playoff—still the closest any amateur has come to a green jacket.
TIGER WOODS, FIRST ROUND, 2005
Woods arrived at his fourth hole one over par, after starting on the back nine in the weather-impacted opening round. From the rear of the 13th green, Woods faced a 70-foot eagle try…which, struck too hard, eventually trickled into Rae’s Creek. But even turning a possible 3 into a 6 couldn’t derail Tiger—he would later win his fourth Masters, in a playoff over Chris DiMarco.
TOMMY NAKAJIMA, SECOND ROUND, 1978
Yanking his drive into Rae’s Creek was only the beginning of Nakajima’s misadventures. Read “167 the Hard Way” and weep.