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19th Hole

Did Tiger Woods screw up by hitting iron off the tee at the 72nd hole?



Tiger Woods, as we know, finished one stroke behind Paul Casey in his bid to return to the winner’s circle at the Valspar Championship.

Woods arrived at the 72nd hole needing birdie to tie Casey. Electing to avoid flirtation with fairway bunkers left and right, Woods hit a long iron 258 yards down the fairway, leaving himself a 185-yard approach shot to the back right pin. His approach shot ended up 38 feet, 11 inches, from the hole. Unsurprisingly considering the distance, he didn’t make the putt.

(via PGA Tour’s ShotLink)

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but some questioned Woods not taking on the bunkers with a 3-wood or driver, and thus allowing for the possibility of a much shorter approach shot he would have been statistically more likely to get close.

Scott Fawcett, founder of the Decade course management system, didn’t question Woods’ decision however. In fact, Fawcett took to Twitter to laud Woods’ decision. The responses to Fawcett’s tweet were both interesting and insightful, spearheaded by our own Rich Hunt.

You can find a portion of this excellent conversation below.

What do you think, GolfWRX members, do you agree with Woods’ approach off the tee at the final hole?

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  1. kevin

    Mar 13, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Richie…correct me if i’m wrong

    LAY UP – 100% chance to hit fairway * ‘good’ approach to 27.7′ (make putt 8%) = 8% chance of birdie.

    DRIVER – 40% chance to hit fairway * ‘good approach to 16’ (make putt 20%) = 16% chance of birdie

    • kevin

      Mar 13, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      actually the driver would also give you 8% … 40% * 20% = 8%

  2. WestPhi

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    how the “f” do you hit a 258y iron?!?!

  3. Not A Legend

    Mar 12, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    I heard from a reliable source that Tiger is considering using jailbreak technology, especially after his arrest. Also, the PGA Tour issued him a get out of jail free card.

  4. juststeve

    Mar 12, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I think you are all ignoring the roll that the person actually hitting the shot plays in deciding what shot he can hit at a particular moment. Analogizing this to my years as a pitcher, the catcher would call for a pitch but ultimately it was for me to decide if I had command of that pitch at the moment. That’s not a matter of statistics. I suspect Tiger hit the shot he thought gave him the best chance to win and no one is in a better position than the guy hitting the shot to know which shot that is.

  5. MotionDynamics

    Mar 12, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Scott Fawcett knows his stuff, love his methods, completely changed my game…

  6. Matthew Sanker

    Mar 12, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Questioning the GOAT is bad karma. 185 yards considering the club they use is ludicrous. He just didn’t hit a good shot into the green. He was very average (our expectations of jim) except the birdie on 17

  7. It'sJustAGame

    Mar 12, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    My question is how many PGA tour events has HUNT GOLF @Richie3jacks won?

    • kevin

      Mar 13, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      this is so completely irrelevant.

      actually, pga tour winners employ guys like Hunt because they know what they are talking about and help them improve in areas such as course management. But I’m sure Richie thanks you for plugging his twitter handle.

  8. 4Right

    Mar 12, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Doesn’t matter what we think… If he hits driver or 3 wood and plants it in the trees, rough, or bunker, this conversation is the completely different… Tiger has won 70 plus events and we question it… LOL!!!

  9. Eagleye

    Mar 12, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Believe the long-iron tee off was appropriate in the situation. Tiger probably hits 8i to 185 yds, with the pin back and right, don’t you think a greater number iron would have got closer to pin ?

  10. kevin

    Mar 12, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Richie Hunt is absolutely right on this. over the long haul vs needing a birdie on that hole at that moment… absolutely should change your strategy.

    • Looper

      Mar 12, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      We sometimes forget we are talking about Tiger, who are we to suggest otherwise. He hits something other than what he did and hits it in the garbage we are having a different discussion…

      • kevin

        Mar 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

        yeah….never question tiger….its not like he’s ever made a poor decision before


  11. Eric

    Mar 12, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Dude keeps talking about better odds but doesn’t factor in the odds being on Tiger’s side seeing as how he played that hole the same all weekend. If he can keep repeating it (which he had been doing) that would improve his chances at success too.

  12. Scott Francis

    Mar 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    sure playing 3 wood puts him farther down there but also given how far hes hitting irons wouldve had him hitting a 9 or PW more likely he wouldve spun off green considering pin location. He shouldve hit some kind of low chaser up there with pin being on a shelf. He also hit a big cut in there which was gonna stop immediately. Had to literally fly it pin high or beyond from 185 tough shot for even the GOAT

  13. MD

    Mar 12, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    What if he just hit his 3 wood, which he was hitting pretty well all week? He could have hit the fairway and been 30yds further down the fairway? I get that he probably doesnt make the green if its in the bunkers, but he left himself a much tougher shot in, even though it was only a 7 iron (probably needed 6iron)

  14. Eric

    Mar 12, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    at first blush i did not have a problem with the tee shot. however, after seeing the data it’s difficult not to second guess. what i did second guess was the club selection on the approach. 7 iron 185 uphill seemed like a strong ask. 6 seemed more appropriate. he’s obviously playing for the win so why not try to hit a club that can actually get to that back shelf?

  15. juststeve

    Mar 12, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Hard to second guess Tiger’s decision. Unless I thought he took a dive, which I don’t, I think he hit the shot that he believed would give him the best chance to win. Although I am not a Tiger fan I do admire the fact that there is no quit in the guy. Always trying to win.

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19th Hole

The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (10.11.18)



If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Michael Martinez with a phenomenal custom Nike concept sketch in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

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Hispanic Heritage Month #golf #nikeshoes #leetrevino

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Sadness. #RadryGolf

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Tattoo level: Tin Cup ???????? ???? via @pgamemes

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Kraken’s latest ballmarker is hotter than a fire track.

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A clean sole grind and stamping from Don White. Nothing like it.

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Made with a purpose.

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If you’re on Instagram, remember to hashtag your photos #GolfWRX. And if you’re not on Instagram, well, don’t.

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19th Hole

Report: No tickets will be sold for Tiger-Phil match



Sorry, fans, you’re not going to be able to buy tickets to the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson $9 million megamatch at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, November 23.

Per a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, only a “small gathering of sponsors and VIPs” will be allowed on course. The report also indicates that, in contrast to Phil Mickelson’s promised primetime (ET) showdown, the match will be played under the Nevada sun. The official start time is yet to be announced, ditto the PPV price.

We corrected the promo graphic below to eliminate the crowd. But right-handed Tiger Woods swinging a left-handed club still needs fixing.

Woods is the -220 favorite at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Mickelson is a +180 underdog.

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19th Hole

WATCH: Is this the craziest hole-in-one you’ve ever seen?



Golfers often say that getting a hole-in-one is all luck. (Keep in mind that Tiger Woods, arguably one of the most skilled iron players ever, says he has 19 holes-in-one… so maybe not all luck.) But certainly there are some holes-in-one that are “luckier” than others.

And then there’s this shot by Eddie Pepperell at the 2018 British Masters…

Definitely a great shot, and he absolutely took dead aim, but how this golf ball found the bottom of the cup is mind-blowing. It seemed to bounce off the ground, go up the flagstick, hit the ground, then side hop itself right into the basket. Wow.

But is it crazier than the bank shot?

That one is hard to top.

Or how about the all-time classic Bugs-Bunny-assisted hole-in-one by Michael Jordan in Space Jam?

Looney Tunes aside, here’s what Pepperell had to say about his hole-in-one.

He may not have seen what happened at the time, but he’ll see it on highlight reels for years to come.

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19th Hole