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Major Heart Stoppers
Alan Shipnuck
August 28, 2000
Was the final-day duel between Tiger Woods and Bob May the best in major championship history? It certainly deserves consideration for that distinction, but it's also in fast company. Here are our choices for the 10 top battles ever.
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August 28, 2000

Major Heart Stoppers

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Was the final-day duel between Tiger Woods and Bob May the best in major championship history? It certainly deserves consideration for that distinction, but it's also in fast company. Here are our choices for the 10 top battles ever.

—Jaime Diaz

1 Tom Watson defeats Jack Nicklaus, 1977 British Open
Two days of glorious head-to-head golf at Turnberry between game's two best players at the time, with Watson's 65-65 finish beating Nicklaus's 65-66 for a one-stroke victory.

2 Francis Ouimet defeats Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, 1913 U.S. Open
Twenty-year-old local amateur beats world's two best players with a playoff-round score of 72 at Brookline. This ultimate Cinderella story launches golf in U.S.

3 Byron Nelson defeats Ben Hogan, 1942 Masters
Fort Worth, Texas, turf war that began when both were caddies creates interest so intense that fellow pros stay overnight to see 18-hole playoff. Nelson shoots 69 to win by a stroke.

4 Jack Nicklaus mounts late surge, 1986 Masters
With a turn-back-the-clock 30 on Augusta's back nine, 46-year-old Golden Bear passes Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman and Tom Kite to win his 18th major championship.

5 Jack Nicklaus defeats heirs apparent, 1975 Masters

Fending off the two prime challengers to his throne—Johnny Miller and Tom Weiskopf—Nicklaus puts in dagger with 40-foot birdie putt on par-316th hole.

6 Sam Snead beats Ben Hogan, 1954 Masters
In final showdown of their careers, Slammin' Sammy edges the Hawk 70-71 in a playoff. Match turns when Hogan three-putts from 15 feet on 16th hole.

7 Tiger Woods answers Bob May, 2000 PGA
Journeyman takes Woods to edge, where Woods further proves his greatness in a three-hole playoff victory. Both shoot 31 on back nine and sink birdie putts on 72nd hole.

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