By David Kraft
Thursday, June 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Amen Corner starts with the 11th hole at Augusta National. And it was there that Tiger Woods delivered another one of the miraculous shots that have become so ingrained in his legend.

Locked in a back-nine battle with surging David Duval and dangerous Phil Mickelson, Woods faced a shot from the 11th fairway with three outcomes:

 Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods says he was in a complete zone on Sunday, focusing on every shot.
  • If he hit it left, it would end up in the water and he'd face a certain bogey.

  • If he hit it too far right, it would fall into a collection area where, moments earlier, Brad Faxon had chipped into the water on the way to quadruple-bogey.

  • If he hit it correctly, he'd hope for a 20-foot uphill putt.

    Woods came up with a fourth option. Standing up on top of the hill at the 445-yard 11th known as White Dogwood, he hit a 149-yard 8-iron to within a foot of the hole. He made the putt for birdie, one of only three on the 11th all day.

    He never trailed again on the way to his second green jacket and fourth consecutive major championship.

    "Just a little chip 8-iron," Woods said later when asked to recap his round. "Made that (putt)."

    A little chip 8-iron? Andy North, with two U.S. Open titles to his credit, said that if Woods hit 50 balls from that spot, he wouldn't get any of them closer.

    Woods seemed in need of a boost at the time. He shot 34 on the front nine, but he'd scrambled to make par from off the green at both Nos. 9 and 10. Woods later called the 8-foot par-saving putt at the 10th his best of the day.

    Meanwhile, Duval had climbed to 14-under and tied Woods at No. 10 with his seventh birdie of the day. Mickelson was 13-under and seemed poised to battle Woods through Amen Corner.

    By the time they walked off the 11th green, the tournament would change shape. Woods blistered his drive, moments after Mickelson had hooked his into the trees. Mickelson was forced to lay up 70 yards short of the hole.

    Woods stood over his shot for a long time, checking the notorious winds that whip through the pines on the lowest point on the golf course. With Mickelson looking away -- he didn't watch Woods hit any of his 68 shots Sunday -- Woods delivered.

    The ball hit just to the right of the hole and checked up, nearly rolling in the cup on the way by.

    Woods walked down the fairway without a smile. He acknowledged the gallery, but showed no other emotion.

    "I was in such a zone today, working on every shot, working so hard on every shot," Woods said.

    Mickelson couldn't get up-and-down and took bogey. Woods tapped in. He now had a one-shot lead over Duval and a three-shot lead over Mickelson.

    Woods bogeyed the 12th, giving the birdie back after he hit an 8-iron over the green into the back bunker. But he hit what he thought was his best shot of the day at No. 13, a huge 300-plus-yard drive around the corner that left him just 182 yards to the flag on the par-5.

    He made birdie to get back to 15-under. Duval momentarily caught him with a birdie at the 15th, but he air-mailed the 16th green and took bogey, giving Woods a lead he never gave up.

    Woods took five straight pars after his bogey at the 12th, then delivered another purely Tiger moment with a birdie on the 18th.

    And then it hit him.

    "It was just a weird feeling, because when you are focused so hard on each and every shot, you kind of forget everything else," Woods said. "What you don't have any more shots to play, that's when I started to realize what I had done. I won the tournament." HELP | ADVERTISER INFO | CONTACT US | TOOLS | SITE MAP
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    Woods wins second Masters, place in history