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Tiger's shot at 16th a classic Masters moment

The moment of magic produced by Tiger Woods at the 16th on Sunday cannot replace Gene Sarazen's "shot heard round the world" in U.S. Masters folklore.

It will, however, not be forgotten by those who saw it.

Chasing his fourth title at Augusta National and his third in five years, tournament leader Woods had hit his tee shot into a spot of trouble behind a greenside bunker to the left of the green at the par-three hole.

Getting up and down from there to save par was never going to be easy and a possible two-shot swing was on the cards with his playing partner Chris DiMarco, trailing by just one, facing a 10-foot birdie putt.

"I was just trying to throw the ball up there on the hill and let it feed down there and hopefully have a makeable putt," Woods said.

What happened next, though, stunned the watching galleries before triggering an eruption of loud applause, hollering and hooting.

Woods conjured up a miracle birdie, holing out from 40 yards off the green with a delicate chip that fed back 25 feet down the slope.

The ball appeared to hover tantalisingly over the edge of the hole before, a second later, it dropped into the cup.

"I think under the circumstances, it's one of the best (shots) I've ever hit because of the turning point," added Woods.

"I mean, if Chris makes his putt and I make bogey, then all of a sudden it's a different ball game. All of a sudden, I'm one back.

"So I figured I need to get this thing at least up-and-down, give myself a chance to make a par.

"All of a sudden, it looked pretty good and all of a sudden it looked like really good and then it looked like how could it not go in and how did it not go in and all of a sudden it went in, so it was pretty sweet."

The miracle shot on 16 put Woods two strokes clear and, although he let DiMarco back into the tournament with a bogey-bogey finish, he was able to close the deal by holing an 18-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole.

Sarazen, however, will forever be associated with Augusta National's most famous blow.

At the 1935 tournament, he holed out with a four wood for an albatross (double eagle) at the par-five 15th -- the "shot heard round the world" -- to set up an unlikely playoff victory over Craig Wood.

Playing the 500-yard 15th in the fourth round, Sarazen was three off the lead when he hit his tee shot down the right of the fairway.

Facing 235 yards to reach the pin with his second, he took out his four wood and struck the ball over water protecting the front of the smallish green and into the hole.

The miracle shot, arguably the most famous single stroke in the game's history, drew him level with Wood. Sarazen went on to win the title by five strokes the following day, after a playoff, for his only green jacket.

 

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