Robert Beck, whogot his first assignment for SI in 1988, has shot more golf tournaments--almost160 and counting--than any other photographer in the 53-year history of themagazine. Here are his most memorable images from the 2007 season.
APRIL 8 Masters,Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.
When Tiger Woodshit this shot from next to a tree right of the 11th fairway, I never saw hisface as he recoiled from the tree and spun away. Darn it! It wasn't until aftermidnight at my hotel that I saw the image at full resolution. The club wrappedaround the tree--and the ball! It was a lucky score, and our Masters cover.
MAY 13 PlayersChampionship,TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
You think Tourpros aren't working hard? Think they don't feel the pressure? Take a close lookat Phil Mickelson's face on the 1st green. I know he won the tournament, but tobe honest, I can't remember if he made this putt or not.
FEB.¬†9AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am,Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach,Calif.
Some people gettired of Bill Murray's antics. Not me. I could shoot him 365¬†days a year.He's funny and wears his game on his sleeve. We followed him for three days atthe Pro-Am, and I could print a book of the great pictures we made over those54¬†holes. This birdie attempt--yes, really--at the 9th at Poppy Hillslipped out, and any number of lines from Caddyshack could be inserted in thiscaption. You know you're laughing to yourself right now. So is Bill.
JULY 21 BritishOpen, Carnoustie Golf Links, Carnoustie, Scotland
Jim Furyk couldnot have backed himself any closer to the fence. He went over his options witha rules official several times, and this stance was his best bet. All the fanswere craning over that fence trying to get a closer look at the shot. That isone of the great things about golf: If any of the players hit from off thefairway and you, the spectator, are nearby, you can get almost as close as youwant. You can hear caddie-player conversations. You can see which club he isusing. A divot might even splatter your cardigan! Try and see if you can getthat close at an NFL game.
JAN.¬†28 BuickInvitational,Torrey Pines Golf Course, La Jolla, Calif.
I work on thispicture almost every year at the Buick. It takes someone who is recognizable(Tiger) and a clean background void of any marshals, scorers or security types.This was one of those times when all of that worked in my favor. I am fairlyfar down the fairway with a longer lens. I frame Tiger between the trees andfire from backswing to follow-through.
FEB.¬†9AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am,Poppy Hills Golf Club, Pebble Beach,Calif.
Carlos Franco isproving that Tour players are human, which makes some of us feel better. Idon't think he was too happy about having to play his second shot on the par-32nd hole from the bridge left and short of the green.