jordan spieth of the united states hits his tee shot on the 12th hole picture

The Masters: A Back Nine Unlike Any Other

Adventure awaits at Augusta's famed final stretch.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

For more than eight decades, the back nine holes at Augusta National Golf Club have witnessed some of the game's most epic moments, delivering a yearly dose of mind-boggling birdies (and bogies), crazy comebacks (and collapses), feel-good stories and, of course, lasting images. Hole by hole, here are some of our favorites...

No. 10: Camellia — Par 4, 495 Yards Streeter Lecka/Getty Images No. 10: Camellia — Par 4, 495 Yards Originally the tournament’s first hole, the powers that be switched it to the 10th in 1935, making the long, downhill par four the opening act of the treacherous turf to come. In a 2012 sudden death playoff with Louis Oosthuizen, Bubba Watson’s drive found the pine straw in the trees to the right of the fairway, setting up one of the wildest shots in Masters history. The left-hander hooked his approach around the trees and onto the green en route to winning the first of his two career green jackets. No. 11: White Dogwood – Par 4, 505 Yards David Cannon/Getty Images No. 11: White Dogwood – Par 4, 505 Yards The massive par four is the opening hole of the appropriately named Amen Corner — a reference to the famously difficult three-hole stretch that often makes or breaks Sunday's leaders. In 1987, Augusta native Larry Mize looked like he didn't have a prayer after missing the green on the second hole of a sudden death playoff with Greg Norman. Then, in what is the stuff of Masters legend, he holed out his chip shot from 140 feet for birdie to win the green jacket. Can I get an Amen? No. 12: Golden Bell — Par 3, 155 Yards David Cannon/Getty Images No. 12: Golden Bell — Par 3, 155 Yards There are a few certainties in life: death, taxes, and that any ball landing short of the 12th green will roll into Rae's Creek. Fred Couples defied the latter in 1992 when his errant tee shot somehow stayed dry, resting miraculously on the steep bank that has spoiled so many Sundays. Couples capitalized, getting up and down to save par and hold on to the lead for his first and only career Masters win. No. 13: Azalea – Par 5, 510 Yards David Cannon/Getty Images No. 13: Azalea – Par 5, 510 Yards In the lead on Sunday, but with his ball sitting in the pinestraw behind two massive trees, Phil Mickelson's smart play would have been to lay up. Always the gambler, Mickelson rolled the dice and promptly ripped a 6-iron through the trees, over Rae's Creek and onto the green. "Phil the Thrill" finished off his birdie en route to a third green jacket. No. 14: Chinese Fir – Par 4, 440 Yards The State/MCT via Getty Images No. 14: Chinese Fir – Par 4, 440 Yards That same year, but a day earlier, it was the 14th hole's chance to witness another classic Mickelson Masters moment. This one came when the fan-favorite holed out his approach shot from the fairway to record the second of two consecutive third-round eagles. No. 15: Firethorn – Par 5, 530 Yards Augusta National/Getty Images No. 15: Firethorn – Par 5, 530 Yards Bobby Jones may have founded the Masters in 1934 — then called the Augusta National Invitational — but it was Gene Sarazen who was responsible for putting the tournament on the map in 1935 when he hit what's often called the "shot heard 'round the world" — a 4-wood from 235 yards which dropped into the hole for double-eagle. The famed shot put him in a tie with Craig Wood, whom he'd eventually beat in a 36-hole playoff. No. 16: Redbud – Par 3, 170 Yards Harry How/Getty Images No. 16: Redbud – Par 3, 170 Yards Sunday at Augusta has seen so many jaw-dropping moments at the famed water-guarded par three, but nothing can top Tiger Woods' career-defining chip shot in 2005, rolling left to right down the sloping surface before hanging on the lip of the cup for what seemed like an eternity, then toppling into the hole for an unimaginable birdie — and an unforgettable fist pump. Woods would go on to defeat Chris DiMarco in a playoff. No. 17: Nandina – Par 4, 440 Yards David Cannon/Getty Images No. 17: Nandina – Par 4, 440 Yards Jack Nicklaus’ unforgettable comeback in 1986 culminated with perhaps the most famous putt — and pose — in tournament history. The 46-year-old drained a 12-footer for birdie, punctuated by legendary Masters announcer Verne Lundquist's famous call: "Yessssir!" The iconic shot gave the "Golden Bear" the outright lead at Augusta for the first time in 11 years. A par at 18 gave Nicklaus a one-shot win and his record sixth and final green jacket. No. 18: Holly – Par 4, 465 Yards Bob Thomas/Getty Images No. 18: Holly – Par 4, 465 Yards Seventeen years after beating Arnold Palmer to become the first-ever international player to claim a green jacket, Gary Player added another classic moment to his legendary Masters career in 1978. Beginning the final round sitting eight shots off the lead, the South African birdied seven of his last 10 holes, topped-off with a birdie putt at the 18th to edge out three players by a single shot. To this day, his 64 remains tied for the lowest final round in tournament history.
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