You’ve seen the ‘bam, cocktails’ hole in one. Here’s what you missed.
Sam Ryder, an hour or so after he hit a wedge on the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, was asked how he’d celebrate what will likely be replayed on your television now every time they bring up the WM Phoenix Open and amazing. He wasn’t sure. But it wasn’t because he couldn’t think of a way to. He couldn’t think, period.
“Well, I’m going to have to try and figure out what happened on the other 17 holes today, because, you know, I did have some good holes,” Ryder said.
Of course, you and he know his best came on the 124-yard par-3, where his ball bounced 6 feet in front of the cup, skipped to the right, rolled left and dropped for a hole in one. And then all hell broke loose. He hadn’t made just any ace. Ryder dunked one on golf’s de facto party hole, where the some 20,000 fans who had been watching for about 10 hours doused him, his caddie, his playing partners, the green, the fairway, the rough and the tee box with beer, beer bottles, liquor and liquor cups.
So yeah, it was all kind of a blur, in maybe more ways than one. Here, then, are a few things you might have missed. A day later, the story only gets better.
Ryder said he pulled the shot
Afterward, Ryder signed for his even-par 71, talked with Jim Nantz during the CBS broadcast and finally watched a clip of the ace. Then, in a well-articulated interview with reporters, he answered seven questions, the first being his recap of the shot.
The biggest takeaway? Ryder said he pulled his wedge slightly.
“Yeah, walking through the tunnel, it was just, I made a birdie on 15 and just kind of been a trying day and not great,” Ryder said. “And Chris Kirk just made eagle, so he teed off first. And I kind of — he hit a really good shot in the middle of the green, so I kind of got a little bit of feel off of what it was playing. And it was just one of those things I was talking to B, my caddie, and it just ended up being a perfect 54-degree wedge. The club — everything always plays a little shorter in there, adrenaline or whatever it is, it’s just, it always plays shorter. And it just, I just told him, it’s just got to be that, doesn’t it? And he’s like, that’s all I ever thought.
“And I kind of, we just talked through it a little bit and I was looking kind of just out to the right and wanted to kind of come down around his ball, and I, you know, just maybe it was an accidental one-yard pull or something, but it was, I mean, didn’t look like it was moving too fast on the camera when I saw it, but it just was, you know, in the air, it just looked perfect.
“And Brian Harman, we were signing our scorecard, he was like, yeah, it was in the whole way. Just one of those that kind of looked like it wasn’t a mistake, it just kind of happened. You know it was going in, like right when it left the club.”
It was his first hole in one since his Hooters Tour days. The course? He can’t remember.
It wasn’t Ryder’s first hole in one. His last in a competition, he said, came while he played on the Hooters Tour, which now goes by the Swing Thought Tour. But here’s where the other details get a little sketchy.
He said it came in “like 2014 or so.” With “like an 8-iron.” At a course he can’t remember the name of. Anything else? Ask his dad.
“My dad’s the kind of guy he remembers all the shots he ever hit and everything like that,” Ryder said. “I like was looking at my scorecard just trying to figure out which holes I made bogey on or birdie or whatever.”
What happened to the ball? He almost lost it in his bag.
Ryder said he had once made an albatross, lost the ball and promised that he would never commit such a sin again. Until he almost did on Saturday.
“Yesterday I made birdie and I threw my ball right up to the crowd right away, and that one I was not going to throw up to the crowd,” Ryder said. “I think of like some of the football players and stuff they catch — their first pass or their first touchdown in the NFL — and they try and make sure they save their ball.
“My caddie was like, all right — he cleaned it and he was kind of giving it back to me. I’m like, let’s just put that one away. And we kind of put it in a different pocket, but there was a couple other balls in there. I was like, woah, woah, woah. Like, so we had, so we got the right one and we put it in a different pocket.
“So I don’t know, probably give it to, you know, my parents and, you know, they have some of my little trophies and stuff that I have, so probably mean more to them than it would to me. But give it to them.”
What in the heck were the rules officials thinking?
After the shot came a 15-minute cleanup, and among those picking up the trash was PGA Tour rules official Stephen Cox. How do we know for sure? Even he tweeted about it.
Putting through Coors Light bottles, after all, isn’t explicitly spelled out in the rules book.
“25 years in professional golf I’ve had a delay in play for situations related to weather, a gas leak, fire, medical emergency but never for excess beer cans.” Cox tweeted. “That’s me above the red line trying clean up the mess. Wild scenes @WMPhoenixOpen”
What did Ryder’s caddie think? Hours later, he still smelled like booze.
Almost immediately after the shot, Ryder’s caddie, Brent Everson, jumped into Ryder’s arms. A 30-year vet, he told the Caddie Network’s John Rathouz that “we all probably like smell like beer.” Notably, too, he also saw a beer bottle whizz by the head of the caddie of Harman, one of Ryder’s playing partners.
The full interview:
You could see the bottles flying from the driving range
Matt Wallace, his tournament over after missing the cut, was hitting balls on the TPC Scottsdale range at around 3 p.m. local time when, on a takeaway with his driver, he heard thunder to his left.
“Over there,” Wallace said to his caddie, Sean McDonagh, who was filming his player, stopped and panned to the scene about a 300 or so yards away.
The video (if you look close enough, you can see the beer bottles flying):
The best video? It came from a police officer.
There are no shortages of videos from the 20,000 or so who watched it live. But the best? It came from one of the folks assigned to keep the peace.
A Scottsdale Police Department officer was right of the green and below the bleachers when “record” was hit on a video about two minutes before Ryder hit.
Even the officer, no pun intended, soaked in the celebration.
Even the pros wanted to watch a highlight
As the cleanup continued, the groups behind Ryder began coming to the hole, and even the players wanted a look at what they no doubt heard.
“All right, Billy, Kevin, you saw how to do it, just go do that,” Knost said.
One person had no idea what happened. He was also leading the tournament.
Not everyone had smelled the booze or heard the roar.
Sahith Theegala had a tournament to lead.
“I didn’t realize there was a hole in one. No, that’s so cool though,” he said. “That’s awesome. No, I didn’t realize. It was just so — I feel like there was a murmur in my ears the whole time. I just assumed someone hit it close or holed a bunker shot or something on the hole. I didn’t know. That’s cool though. Good for Sam.”