WATCH: Pro hits no-look chip with 1 arm, makes insane up-and-down
PGA Tour Live/ESPN+
Historically speaking, the weekend before Presidents Day is a fertile time for phrases like “one-handed,” “behind-the-back” and “no-look.” But historically speaking, those words are rarely used in conjunction with the Genesis Invitational, but rather for NBA All-Star weekend.
All-Star weekend is a magical time for NBA fans, filled with trade rumors, star-studded exhibitions, and perhaps most prominently, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. The Slam Dunk Contest rates every year as one of the most-watched basketball telecasts of the year, with viewers flocking in from around the world to watch basketball’s finest performance art.
Apparently, among the viewers of this year’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest was Patton Kizzire, the 35-year-old PGA Tour pro from Montgomery, Ala. We assume this because on Sunday at Riviera, Kizzire made an up-and-down so insane, he had to have drawn at least some inspiration from Obi Toppin’s Dunk Contest-winning effort on Saturday night.
The moment came on the par-3 14th. With Kizzire battling his way toward a top-25 finish, the former Tour winner found himself in an unenviable position: with his tee shot resting comfortably against the lip of the greenside bunker. Given the depth of the sand and the angle at the green, Kizzire appeared to have 2 options: take an unplayable, or attempt a baseball bat-type swing at a wedge in the hope of squibbing the ball out toward the putting surface.
But then, as Kizzire studied his chip, a lightbulb flipped on. He didn’t have to take either shot, he reasoned, so long as he’d be willing to try something even crazier: a behind-the-back, no-look wedge shot … one-handed.
A few seconds later, Kizzire lined up his shot, took one final look at the green behind him, and plunged his wedge into the turf. To his great surprise, the ball trickled down the mouth of the green and onto the putting surface, rolling to a final stop some 44 feet from the flagstick.
Now came the easy part: a 40-footer for par with serious leaderboard placement up for grabs. Now afforded such luxuries as the ability to grip his club with two hands and see his intended destination, Kizzire was locked-in, rolling the putt all the way up the ridge and into the cup.
As he made his way to the hole, Kizzire caught an ESPN+ camera crew out of the side of his eye.
In one smooth motion, he looked straight into the lens, flashed a knowing smile and tipped his cap, presumably both to golf fans AND Slam Dunk Contest viewers everywhere.