His commitment to fitness is extraordinary, as is his concentration. But his greatest talent, I think, is on the greens and around them. At Augusta that's especially useful. His most amazing Masters shot to me was the pitch shot he played away from the hole from over the 16th green, in the fourth round in 2005. The ball practically came to a stop before it finally fell. Incredible drama and pure genius. I probably would have tried to putt the ball from where he was. It's counterintuitive to play a shot away from your target.
I've watched many come and go. Tiger's a one-off.
18 The Bag Room
My rounds at Augusta National began at the bag room, where your club caddie would be waiting for you in a laundered white jumpsuit, your bag leaning against a wall. Every day was a fresh start. In my Masters years all the players were required to use club caddies. In my last eight or nine tournaments, my caddie was a smallish man, not young even when we started together, named Willie Perteet.
In the first round in 1976, I played with Bob Goalby, winner of the '68 Masters, and behind Raymond Floyd. Every time Willie or Bob or I looked up, Floyd seemed to be holing another putt. The next day I played with Bobby Nichols. That turned out to be my final round in the Masters. Willie had to be near his end too. He was very likable, and what he knew, he knew. He didn't use a yardage book and didn't need one. If I wanted a yardage, and I seldom did, I'd say, "Cemetery, what do you think it is?" He'd eyeball it.
Cemetery was his nickname, given to him in the 1950s by a well-known Augusta National member. As a young man—so the story went—he got knifed to death in a bar fight and was taken to the morgue. But he rose from the table and walked out, and after that everybody began calling him Dead Man. When he started caddying for President Eisenhower, the President said, "I can't have a caddie called Dead Man," and he started calling him Cemetery. Cemetery did fine by me. We parted ways for the final time, without ceremony, where our days had begun, in front of the bag room.
New GigaPan photos from Augusta National at GOLF.com.