WATCH: Graeme McDowell shocks himself with epic hole-in-one, buys media beer

Graeme McDowell hole-in-one at Zurich Classic

Graeme McDowell reacts after making a hole-in-one Friday at the 2021 Zurich Classic.

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While the Zurich Classic carries with it all the official honors (and prize money) of any other PGA Tour event, its unique team format creates a more fun-centered atmosphere among the players than individual stroke-play events. And no one had more fun on Friday than Graeme McDowell… except maybe his teammate and their caddies.

On the lengthy 209-yard par-3 17th hole at TPC Louisiana, McDowell did something he had never done before on Tour, jarring his tee shot for a hole-in-one. Holes-in-one aren’t all that uncommon in the pro ranks, but McDowell’s reaction and the ensuing celebration on the tee box set it apart, making it a must-watch.

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As soon as the 2010 U.S. Open champ finished his swing, he ducked down and picked up his tee, as he would do after a drive on a par-4, confident that he’d be happy with the result. But he had no idea how happy.

As McDowell turned and walked away to let the next person hit, his ball landed on the front of the green, far from the hole but with lots of momentum. The TV cameras followed along as it rolled all the way across the green and caught the lip, diving into the bottom of the cup.

The crowd burst into applause, and while G-Mac hadn’t a clue what was going on, his teammate Matt Wallace did. Wallace grabbed him by the arms, which McDowell returned with a look of confusion. The cameras rolled as his expression quickly transformed to shock and then jubilation upon realizing what had happened, sending everyone on the tee box jumping, hugging and high-fiving.

Check it out below.

Wallace gleefully tweeted out the video as well, writing, “Genuinely, one of the happiest moments I’ve ever had on a golf course.”

The unspoken tradition after making a hole-in-one is to buy everyone in your group, or even everyone in the grill room, a round of drinks. Given that this was a PGA Tour event, G-Mac put his own twist on the ritual: he bought a cooler full of beer for the reporters in the media center.

The unlikely ace helped Team McDowell-Wallace improve to eight under by day’s end, leaving them tied for ninth at the halfway point of the tournament.

Kevin Cunningham

Golf.com Editor

As managing producer for GOLF.com, Cunningham edits, writes and publishes stories on GOLF.com, and manages the brand’s e-newsletters, which reach more than 1.4 million subscribers each month. A former two-time intern, he also helps keep GOLF.com humming outside the news-breaking stories and service content provided by our reporters and writers, and works with the tech team in the development of new products and innovative ways to deliver an engaging site to our audience.