‘Never seen that’: Amateur’s lucky bounce leads to improbable birdie

Jasmine Koo's shot hits off the sponsor board at the Chevron Championship.

Jasmine Koo's second shot into the par-5 finisher of the Chevron Championship was destined for the water. Then this happened.


Through three rounds, Jasmine Koo had little trouble with the par-5 18th hole at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course, host of last week’s Chevron Championship in The Woodlands, Texas.

One of six amateurs in the field, Koo played the 18th in four under through three rounds, and she needed another good result on 18 on Sunday to secure low-am honors.

The 18th has water left, and it gets tight up against the fairway as players get closer to the hole. The green is tucked behind the water. Most players, if going for the green in two, took plenty of club, hit it through the green and tried to get up and down for birdie. In the final round, Koo was between clubs for her second shot, but she decided on a 5-wood, took aim, swung and, well — then came one of the craziest results we’ve seen in a while.

Koo’s ball looked destined for the water, but it landed on the title sponsor’s floating advertising board a good 30 yards short of the green, took a big bounce forward onto the putting surface and rolled off the back.

“Alright, that’s the first time I’ve seen that,” said Terry Gannon on the NBC broadcast.

Paige Mackenzie agreed. “That is something I have never seen in all of my years playing and watching golf,” she said.

But here’s the best part — Ko got up and down for birdie.

“I chunked it because the ball was above my feet,” said Koo, before taking the ball out to show media members the damage, “and I can show you guys, that’s the mark it made from hitting the logo that was in the middle of the water, and then it bounced on to the fringe, and I made an up-and-down for birdie. Yeah, that was really exciting.”

Koo’s birdie helped her to a closing one-under 71, good for three under for the week and a T13 finish, 10 behind winner Nelly Korda. She edged Lottie Woad by two for low-am honors. Not bad for Koo’s first LPGA and major start; she’ll be a freshman on the USC women’s golf team this fall.

As for what she learned at the Chevron, Koo said at the beginning of the week she was in awe of seeing some of golf’s stars, but her strong play reiterated she belongs with them.

“I’m going to college this fall, so I’m just going to take it step by step and kind of just know, yeah, I think I’m good enough to get here one day,” she said.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.