Tiger Woods 2005 Masters: runner-up, Chris DiMarco, looks back on 'that chip', one of the most memorable shots of any Masters, or indeed any tournament…
Tiger Woods 2005 Masters: Chris DiMarco Reflects On ’That Chip”
Think back to Augusta 2005, and you’ll invariably think of ‘that chip’ on the 16th in the final round, when Tiger was vying for the title with playing companion, Chris DiMarco.
In the commentary booth, Lanny Wadkins’ final words just before Tiger played were: “There’s a good chance he won’t get this inside DiMarco’s ball.” He should have kept quiet, for we all know what happened next.
We caught up with 2005 runner-up, Chris DiMarco, in Abu Dhabi this year to ask him about Tiger Woods’ Master miracle chip in 2005.
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When you were walking up the 16th in 2005, did you manage to shut out thoughts of potentially walking off the green leading the Masters?
I did and I owe a lot of that to Gio Valiante who worked with a lot of guys on tour. We were working on expecting the unexpected, and certainly that was unexpected.
But I was really good that whole year at just kind of putting myself in various possible positions… what if he doesn’t get up and down and I make the putt – now I’m one up; what is my gameplan?
Or what if he makes a par and I make a birdie; now we’re even. I had myself in every scenario, I really did. I said, if he chips in we’ve just got to make our putt. I mean, it’s Tiger Woods – nothing shocks you! But I was definitely not counting on that.
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How did it feel watching the ball roll slowly towards the hole?
I’d watched Davis Love kind of do the same thing, I guess a couple of years earlier. So I knew that that was where he was going to play it – he had to play it up and then let it roll back.
And like he said in his interview afterwards, he was just trying to chip it inside me so he knew what he had to do. But great champions produce great things in the biggest moments, and that’s what he did.
When he then bogeyed the last two did you feel you had the upper hand going into the play-off?
Do you expect him to bogey the last two? No. But he certainly wasn’t hitting the ball like he normally hits it.
You could tell he was going through a swing change. But I think it’s the only time they ever started the play-off on the 18th.
Every other year it started on 10, so I walked out of the tent and was going to the 10th, and someone said, “No we’re going to 18.” “18?” I said. “They’ve never done that in the past.”
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I’m not saying it had anything to do with it, but I felt like the way I was hitting the ball there was no advantage for him on 10.
On 18 there was an advantage because he could hit a good 3-wood, which he did, and then an 8-iron into the green, whereas on 10, no matter where you hit it you both end up playing from the same spot.
Did you think it was just a matter of time before you tasted Major success?
You can never count on it. Look at guys like Sergio Garcia, who have won big tournaments and done great things, but haven’t won Majors. It’s hard!
Other than Tiger Woods, if you win 5% of the time, that’s a lot. You think about it, you have four tournaments a year and for most guys you’re talking about only 40 or 50 chances.
And for me, I was playing against Tiger Woods and guys like that. I felt for sure that I could do it, and one thing I always took away from my close misses – I lost to Tiger again in The 2006 Open by two – was that at least I always played well coming down the stretch.
I didn’t make any bogeys, so I got beat – I didn’t beat myself. There are a lot of guys who’d love to have some putts back or who kick themselves about bogeys and doubles down the stretch.
But I always made birdies coming in and just got beaten… but by the best in the world.
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