Infotainment Factory: Golfer's miracle birdie from the beach

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Thursday, 7 February 2019

Golfer's miracle birdie from the beach


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It’s one of the most iconic tee shots in world golf – the 18th hole at Pebble Beach in California.

And there’s only one rule. Don’t hit it left. Because if you do, the nearest drop zone is on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

US golfer Brandt Snedeker wowed fans at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, when his incredible recovery shot from the beach not only saved him having to take a penalty, but set up what is sure to be one of the best birdies of the year.

The 38-year-old caught a lucky break that he teed off at low tide. A few hours earlier or later and his ball would have been swallowed by the waves that crash against the rock wall that lines the fairway.

But with the option to play the ball from the beach, Snedeker showed exactly why he’s won nine times on the PGA Tour, and been ranked as high as number four in the world.

Faced with 236 metres to the hole on the par five, Snedeker managed to advance the ball 105 metres from the pebbles, getting the ball to fade back onto the fairway.

From there he got down in two for a remarkable birdie, which capped an opening round of 69.

It leaves Snedeker three shots behind leaders Scott Langley and Brian Gay.

Australia’s Jason Day is in a tie for third, one off the lead.

Teeing off the 10th hole, Day carded two early birdies before a bogey at the par-4 15th.

However the 13-time US PGA Tour winner responded with three straight birdies before the turn and added two more on his back nine.

With Day and wife Ellie welcoming their third child, son Arrow, in November and Day enjoying a run without injuries that have recently plagued him, the Queenslander says he has never felt clearer.

He says it's playing a large part in his solid start to 2019, which also kicked off with a top-five finish at Torrey Pines last month.

Now, the 31-year-old has given himself a hot start to the Pebble Beach Pro Am - where he has recorded five top-six results, including a runner-up last year, without lifting the trophy.

"I've just got a clearer head," the former world No.1 said.

Jason Day

"When you don't have any distractions and you have a clearer mind, you can focus on playing. Things start to align and become more balanced and that definitely yields good (golf).

"I'm very close to getting back to where I need to be."

Day shares third at six under alongside five others including five-time major winner Phil Mickelson.

Mickelson is regarded as having arguably the greatest short game in golfing history but has perennially struggled with the driver.

However the 48-year-old left-hander hit all 13 fairways at Monterey - a milestone he says is a career-first.

"So history was made today; to the best of my knowledge it's taken me 27 years and a few months to hit all fairways in a single round in a competition," Mickelson said.

Phil Mickelson.

Meanwhile, Aaron Baddeley was next best of the Australians with a three-under-par 69 at the difficult Spyglass Hill leaving him just four shots off the pace.

Baddeley's countrymen Adam Scott, Curtis Luck and Matt Jones sit one under after day one, while fellow Australians John Senden, Rod Pampling, Cameron Davis and Ryan Ruffels had even-par rounds.

Severe rain is forecast for California's Monterey Peninsula during the next three days and PGA Tour officials are bracing for a Monday finish.

It’s one of the most iconic tee shots in world golf – the 18th hole at Pebble Beach in California.

And there’s only one rule. Don’t hit it left. Because if you do, the nearest drop zone is on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

US golfer Brandt Snedeker wowed fans at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, when his incredible recovery shot from the beach not only saved him having to take a penalty, but set up what is sure to be one of the best birdies of the year.

The 38-year-old caught a lucky break that he teed off at low tide. A few hours earlier or later and his ball would have been swallowed by the waves that crash against the rock wall that lines the fairway.

But with the option to play the ball from the beach, Snedeker showed exactly why he’s won nine times on the PGA Tour, and been ranked as high as number four in the world.

Faced with 236 metres to the hole on the par five, Snedeker managed to advance the ball 105 metres from the pebbles, getting the ball to fade back onto the fairway.

From there he got down in two for a remarkable birdie, which capped an opening round of 69.

It leaves Snedeker three shots behind leaders Scott Langley and Brian Gay.

Australia’s Jason Day is in a tie for third, one off the lead.

Teeing off the 10th hole, Day carded two early birdies before a bogey at the par-4 15th.

However the 13-time US PGA Tour winner responded with three straight birdies before the turn and added two more on his back nine.

With Day and wife Ellie welcoming their third child, son Arrow, in November and Day enjoying a run without injuries that have recently plagued him, the Queenslander says he has never felt clearer.

He says it's playing a large part in his solid start to 2019, which also kicked off with a top-five finish at Torrey Pines last month.

Now, the 31-year-old has given himself a hot start to the Pebble Beach Pro Am - where he has recorded five top-six results, including a runner-up last year, without lifting the trophy.

"I've just got a clearer head," the former world No.1 said.

Jason Day

"When you don't have any distractions and you have a clearer mind, you can focus on playing. Things start to align and become more balanced and that definitely yields good (golf).

"I'm very close to getting back to where I need to be."

Day shares third at six under alongside five others including five-time major winner Phil Mickelson.

Mickelson is regarded as having arguably the greatest short game in golfing history but has perennially struggled with the driver.

However the 48-year-old left-hander hit all 13 fairways at Monterey - a milestone he says is a career-first.

"So history was made today; to the best of my knowledge it's taken me 27 years and a few months to hit all fairways in a single round in a competition," Mickelson said.

Phil Mickelson.

Meanwhile, Aaron Baddeley was next best of the Australians with a three-under-par 69 at the difficult Spyglass Hill leaving him just four shots off the pace.

Baddeley's countrymen Adam Scott, Curtis Luck and Matt Jones sit one under after day one, while fellow Australians John Senden, Rod Pampling, Cameron Davis and Ryan Ruffels had even-par rounds.

Severe rain is forecast for California's Monterey Peninsula during the next three days and PGA Tour officials are bracing for a Monday finish.

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