AUGUSTA, Ga. — Hours before Sunday’s staggering finish made it particularly memorable, this Masters was historic. For the first time ever, there were three holes-in-one on the same day on No. 16. And the last one was a billiard-table doozie.
Louis Oosthuizen, who put his imprint on the tournament with a double-eagle 2 on the par-5 second hole four years ago, watched as his 7-iron shot on the 170-yard 16th landed softly right of the flagstick. Then he saw it roll slowly to the left, near the ball of J.B. Holmes, who had hit a beautiful shot moments earlier. Suddenly, Oosthuizen’s ball ricocheted off Holmes’ ball, took a slight detour and went into the hole.
“I was just hoping that it was my ball that was in and not J.B.’s,” he said. “But yeah, it was good. I’ve seen it happen on par 4s, but to do it in that setting on 16, that was brilliant.”
As for the luck of getting an assist from Holmes, he said: “Well, I think I just said, ‘Thanks, man.’ ”
The run started earlier when Shane Lowry put one in. “I’d been hitting good shots most of the day and hitting my targets also, so it was a fairly easy shot,’’ he said. “But yeah, I felt like it was definitely a little bit of luck. I’ll put that picture up in my house and it will be a nice memento to have. I feel pretty lucky to have a hole-in-one around this place.”
In between, Davis Love III drew a roar that could be heard all over the course when he drilled his 7-iron shot at the same spot. He and playing partner Webb Simpson had heard Lowry’s ovation but weren’t quite sure it was an ace cheer. “Then, when we got down there and heard what a hole-in-one sounds like [firsthand], we said, ‘Wow. That was really loud down here.’ ”
Langer can’t break age barrier
Bernhard Langer had the opportunity to become the oldest major champion, by 10 years, but he never did give himself a chance. The 58-year-old began the day only two shots out of the lead, which put him well within range of surpassing the mark Julius Boros set when he won the PGA Championship at 48. But he had two bogeys and a double bogey in his first five holes, shot 40 on the front and finished with a 79 that left him at 6 over par, 11 shots behind the champion, Danny Willett.
Smylie Kaufman began the day only one shot back, playing in the final twosome with Jordan Spieth. By the time he had a front-row seat to Spieth’s back-nine meltdown, Kaufman, 24, had put himself out of contention with a 39 on the front. He shot 81, finishing at 7 over.
“That was some heat. Obviously, I’ve never felt something like that before. I think I got in my own head a little bit,” Kaufman said. “But everything else was awesome. I loved the atmosphere. It was something I think I’ll thrive in someday.”