2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson: History in the Making
Harry How/Getty Images for The Match
Woods shoots a Masters record 10-under 62.
This is the 84th edition of the Masters. The first one, in 1934, included a 72-player field. Recent editions have grown in number of players but usually remain under triple-digit totals. Doing a little multiplication and addition, we can calculate that there have been nearly 25,000 individual rounds played in tournament history.
The best score, out of all those rounds, is a 63, and it’s happened twice.
In the third round of the 1986 edition, Nick Price bogeyed the opening hole and just barely missed a birdie on the last, shooting that record-low score. Greg Norman equaled that feat in the first round in 1996, only to lose the tournament in spectacular fashion three days later.
Nobody, though, in 84 years and those 25,000 rounds, has posted a 62.
Woods is halfway there.
After a front-nine 31, there is absolute delirium around Augusta National as Tiger appears on the verge of winning a sixth Masters title — and maybe doing so in historic style.
He starts with a par on the 10th hole. OK, that’s fine. We’ll take it.
He makes another par on the 11th. Another tough hole, no problem.
Then again on the 12th. Kind of losing our mojo here, but it ain’t over.
The 13th is the real dream-crusher, though. On a par-5 that he has birdied more times than he can even remember, Woods misses long with his second shot and then hits an average chip onto the green and two-putts for a disappointing par. That’s it. He might win, but he’s not shooting 62 today.
Your feeling is only confirmed when Tiger adds another par on the 14th hole. He’s still 5-under for the day, still in command of the lead, but the momentum has definitely run out.
Or so everyone believes.
Finally, he bounces back with a spectacular eagle on the 15th.
Then a birdie on the 16th. And another on the 17th.
Woods comes to the 18th hole needing a birdie for the first-ever 62 not just by a winner, not just in the final round, but ever — in the entire tournament’s history.
He hits a solid tee shot but gets a little too much of his approach, finding the middle of the green when there’s a front pin.
Still hoping for a birdie but knowing you’d love at least to witness a two-putt par to tie the record, you watch as Woods takes the putter back and from 40 feet away hits the most perfect putt you’ve ever seen.
Boom. Right into the heart of the cup.
There it is. A sixth Masters win, culminated with the first-ever 62 in tournament history.
You can only laugh when you hear Tiger explain his round afterward and suggest, “I left a few out there today.” Then you think about it and realize he’s completely right.
Hey, a 59 would’ve been nice, but a 62 is pretty special, too.