Golf World

The 18 Most Important Moments In Golf

Francis Ouimet's stunning 1913 U.S. Open victory over his heavily favored foes was followed by other important moments that have shaped the sport in the last century
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February 2013
Francis Ouimet

The centennial of Francis Ouimet's victory in the 1913 U.S. Open, when the unheralded amateur upset British stars Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a playoff at The Country Club, got us thinking. Ouimet's transcendent triumph, which captivated America and set it on a path to becoming a great golf nation, is clearly one of the game's seminal occasions. What, though, about other important moments that have shaped the American golf narrative since the cheering stopped that far-away September afternoon in Massachusetts? Narrowing our list was probably a tougher task than that of a golf architect who has a great piece of land and can build only 18 holes, but we did it. Our roster consists of fantastic shots, defining championships, amazing seasons and pivotal off-course developments all resonating long after they occurred.

-- Bill Fields

Tiger Wood in 2001

Punctuation Mark (2001)

Having won the previous three majors -- blowouts at the U.S. and British Opens and a tense playoff verdict over underdog Bob May at the PGA Championship -- Tiger Woods, already a trailblazer, arrived at the 2001 Masters expected to produce more golf history. It would not be a Grand Slam, a calendar-year sweep of the events that matter most, but when he held off David Duval by two strokes and Phil Mickelson by three on April 8, the "Tiger Slam" crowned Woods as the best of his era and an icon for all time. By winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive professional major title when the opportunity was there, Tiger punctuated the point that there has never been a better pressure player. In a way, everything since has been an encore.
Photo: Dom Furore
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