Standing on the par-3 11th tee box, Young was 3 up in his quarterfinal match against Kurt Kitayama. The newly-minted PGA Tour winner had just stuffed his tee shot inside 10 feet, so Young knew he needed a solid shot to keep from losing the hole. Once the ball left the clubface, though, that possibility looked slim.
“Oh goodness,” Young said shortly after impact.
The ball started left and stayed there. With a huge mound left of the putting surface, it looked as though Young would be left with a near-impossible second shot.
Then, he got lucky.
Instead of pitching in the Bermuda rough on the hillside, Young’s ball trundled through the grass and began rolling down the slope. It didn’t stop until it was just inches from the hole.
“It it your day or what!” announcer Dan Hicks said. “[Nearly] one of the wildest aces we have ever seen.”
All Young could do was shake his head. What looked like a near-certain bogey was now a tap-in birdie.
“The shot of the day was the worst shot of the day,” Young said after the match. “Yeah, I just duck hooked a 7-iron trying to hit it really low and I just shut the face down. Yeah, it was just awful, so I really got away with one there.”
In a moment of poetic justice, Kitayama converted his birdie putt as well — but not before a little gamesmanship of his own.
“Walking up on the green he asked if I would do good-good,” Young said. “I said no, but it was a fair try because he deserved it a lot more than I did there.”
Like they say, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.