Over the years, Pebble Beach has seen millions of golf shots. Millions. But somewhere in the mix, someone had to have the single best shot.
Did it come from Tiger Woods in the midst of his overpowering U.S. Open victory in 2000? How about Gary Woodland in 2019? Or Watson’s chip-in in ’82? Was it one of the hundreds of aces made by golfers on Pebble’s par-3s?
Steve Elkington, the 1995 PGA Championship winner, recounted one compelling candidate on this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar, and the shot involved neither a professional golfer nor an ace. It came from a junior player on a par-5.
The tale begins with Elkington participating in the 2014 Nature Valley First Tee Open (now the Pure Insurance Championship), a Champions Tour pro-am at Pebble.
“I was lucky enough to play with this young girl at the Nature Valley,” Elkington said. “We were off the back nine at Pebble Beach on the last round and we had a great round, finish on the 9th hole. We were told that we think we’ve won the tournament.”
Quickly, Elkington and his playing partner were ushered off to the 18th green, where they would be anointed champions after the final groups finished play.
“So we’re all the way back to the 18th hole,” Elkington said. “John Cook was leading the tournament, and we were in the grandstands behind 18 waiting for Cook to finish. We thought we had won the tournament. “
As Elkington remembers, suddenly there was a commotion.
“Well, one of the young junior players that was playing in Cook’s group hooked his drive into the water on 18, hit a rock, bounced back out into the fairway — we didn’t see this of course — but then we saw a ball land on the green and go into the hole,” he said. “We thought, that’s the coolest eagle we’ve ever seen, and then someone said, no, that’s a guy that’s made a double-eagle.”
Elkington quickly realized he’d found himself on the wrong end of a historic albatross, made by 17-year-old Christopher Meyers.
“That was to beat us,” Elkington said. “It’s the only double-eagle in the history of Pebble Beach on the last hole to win a tournament.”
That’s right, the only title-winning albatross on the 18th hole in Pebble Beach history — commenced with a tee shot that should have wound up in the Pacific Ocean. Soon, any astonishment vanished in the place of comforting his playing partner.
“I spent the next two hours with the young girl,” he said. “Telling her, ‘It’s okay, it’s okay, we finished second!'”
To hear the rest of Elkington’s Subpar interview, check out the video below or subscribe to GOLF’s Subpar wherever podcasts are found.