Tiger is proof that you don’t need to hit in the fairway to play well.
It’s all about how you can get the ball in the hole, from anywhere on the golf course. His imagination and ability to hit the most difficult shots under pressure is truly something else.
Here are five of our favorite TW recovery shots that he pulled off on the biggest stages.
1. Canadian Open Fairway Bunker
Tiger isn’t afraid to attempt the impossible. At the 2000 Bell Canadian Open, on the 18th hole, he had a shot pretty much every golfer fears – even the pros.
Tiger was faced with a fairway bunker shot from 200+ yards, over water, on the last hole of the tournament. Most players would have gone way left of the green and never even considered challenging the back right pin position.
But of course, Tiger isn’t like most players. Instead, he launched a high-flying 6-iron into the stratosphere that went directly over the flagstick.
Naturally, he went on to make the birdie and win the event (his 9th of the season).
2. Masters Chip In
Another one of Tiger’s best recovery shots of all time came at the 16th hole at Augusta in 2005. It was Sunday and once again, he was in the hunt for another green jacket.
In a very rare miss on the back nine of the Masters, he pulled his iron shot long and left of the green. Most players consider this the worst place to miss as it’s nearly an impossible up and down.
But Tiger nipped a wedge perfectly, watched it check, and gained momentum down the hill to the hole. It looked like it was going to just sit on the edge of the cup, until the golf Gods breathed it on it and the Nike logo appeared as it fell in the hole.
One word – unreal.
His playing partner Chris Demarco could only look on in disbelief.
3. The Pebble Beach 7-Iron
Pebble Beach is a tough golf course in normal conditions but when the rough is ankle deep, look out. The iconic venue made the best players in the world look like amateurs in the 2000 US Open (except Tiger, who won by 15 shots).
In that special week, Tiger hit one of the best shots from the rough you will ever see. After pushing his tee shot wide right on the uphill par-5 6th hole, Tiger had about 200 yards to the green from the cabbage.
Most players would have pitched back to the fairway, then wedged it to the green.
But Tiger used his insane strength to will a 7 iron out of the thick stuff, over a tree, and onto the green. While he didn’t make the eagle putt, the fact he even had a look at three completely amazed the announcers. As Roger Maltbie said, “It’s just not a fair fight.”
4. Fairway Bunker WGC Mexico
Fairway bunkers seem to create magic for Tiger. In the 2019 WGC in Mexico, he had 135 yards from the bunker with a tree blocking the green.
Every other player would have chipped out. But not Tiger. The ball hit on the green, spun hard right due to the flight, and ended up inside ten feet.
As Paul Azinger said in the broadcast, “This is Tiger the artist.”
5. Tiger’s “Better Than Most” Putt
Finally, let’s not forget about Tiger with a putter in his hand as well.
On one of the most famous holes in golf, the island green #16 at TPC Sawgrass. He made one of the craziest double breaking putts ever.
Most players would be thrilled with a two-putt from this awkward position, but not Tiger. As the announcer said, “Better than most, better than most.”
And as we all know, the rest is history.
As you can see, Tiger has hit some of the most epic recovery shots in the history of the game. Just because he’s not in position A doesn’t mean he won’t make magic!
Whether it’s hitting crazy shots from behind trees, impossible fairway bunker shots, or tough shots around the green, only the GOAT can make it happen.
What is your favorite TW recovery shot?
Make sure to let us know in the comments below!
Written by Michael Leonard
1 thought on “5 Tiger Woods Recovery Shots Only He Can Pull Off”
I don’t know the year, but at Jack’s event, Tiger misses the green in the rough above it to the left. He hits under the ball for his third shot and leaves it in the rough. His fourth shot was as much better, from the rough it lands softly on the green and rolls in to save par. Magic.