2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson: The End
Harry How/Getty Images for The Match
Woods’ bad luck turns around on the back nine.
As you make your way to the 10th hole, you find yourself surrounded by people who aren’t just disappointed or dejected at Tiger’s bad breaks on the front nine. They’re downright apoplectic.
You even eavesdrop on one guy who doesn’t just think that flagsticks should be laser beams that shoot out of the hole but that they should’ve been laser beams this entire time and that Tiger should retroactively be given an eagle instead of a bogey on the ninth hole.
That feels a little extreme, but instead of changing rules and retroactively altering scores, you’re willing to let the sometimes-equitable golf gods sort this thing out on the back nine.
There are no signs from any higher powers on the first couple of holes, but on 12, Tiger’s tee shot hits short of the green and starts to trickle back toward Rae’s Creek before defying gravity and sticking in the short grass — just like Fred Couples’ shot during his winning final round in 1992.
The gallery goes wild at Woods’ reversal of fortune, as he gets up and down to save par.
On 13, his second shot looks headed for what Augusta National refers to as “a tributary of the creek.” It’s wet the whole way, until … it isn’t. The ball miraculously jumps out of the water like a jittery bass and finds dry land, turning a potential bogey into a birdie.
That was all the good luck he’d need. From there, Tiger takes care of the rest himself, making birdie on three of the final five holes to claim a one-stroke lead.
As you watch the celebration after he clinches the win, you see laser-beam guy again in the gallery.
“I knew he was gonna win,” he’s telling everyone in earshot. “I knew that bad bounce on 9 was just what he needed to get fired up.”