By David Kraft
Sunday, April 8

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- David Duval said it was the best shot he hit all day, possibly the best shot he's ever hit. He even was thinking about a hole-in-one Sunday at the 16th hole at The Masters.

No. 16 at a glance
Average 2.957
Rank 11
Eagles 0
Birdies 14
Pars 22
Bogeys 10
Double-bogeys 1
Others 0

And all he got out of it was a bogey.

Phil Mickelson, finally within one shot of catching Tiger Woods, was thinking birdie when he hit his tee shot on the picturesque 183-yard par-3, which features water on the left and a severely-sloping green on the right.

He took bogey, too.

Woods, hitting just after Mickelson, landed his ball in nearly the same spot, but it slid down the hill and left him with an uphill putt. He two-putted for par.

Such are the little things -- sometimes at the littlest holes -- that win major championships.

Duval's 7-iron at the 16th landed just over the back of the green, trickling down into a collection area. It left Duval -- tied with Woods at the time -- with an almost-impossible chip. He actually got the ball close -- to within eight feet -- but when he couldn't make the resulting par putt, Woods had regained the outright lead.

"I thought I might have made a 1," Duval said. "You don't fly it 190-something yards over the green like I did."

Duval had watched Ernie Els hit a 7-iron on the green. Earlier in his round, he had flown the fourth green and made bogey. To his disbelief, he did the same thing at the 16th.

"I just can't stand up there and pull out an 8-iron," he said. "Everybody would call me an idiot if I did."

So Duval stuck with the 7-iron. It tried to hold the back edge of the green, but couldn't on the shaved slopes of Augusta National.

"I don't want to say it is untimely to hit such a good shot, but it was one of those ones if I had missed it a little bit, that would have turned out well."

Mickelson, also chasing Woods, three-putted from 40 feet.

"Sixteen was the real killer," Mickelson said.

He pulled his 7-iron to the right-hand side of the green and it hung up on a ridge. He slid his first putt past the hole and couldn't recover.

"I've got the momentum. I've got the honors," Mickelson said. "If I can stick one on 16 and hit a good golf shot, I think the whole momentum changes. And then I pulled it up on top in the one place I can't hit it, don't even give myself a putt at it."

Woods was in the safe spot, and had a simple two-putt. Two holes later, he won his second green jacket.

"I hit a golf shot today that might be the best golf shot I ever hit, and I made a 4 out of it," Duval muttered early Sunday evening. "Other than that, I don't know what to say." HELP | ADVERTISER INFO | CONTACT US | TOOLS | SITE MAP
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