SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Sam Ryder watched playing partner Chris Kirk play the first on the iconic 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale during Saturday’s third round of the WM Phoenix Open and got a good read of how the green was playing.
Then he moved to the par-3, which was playing 124 yards, with a 54-degree corner and hit the shot of his professional life.
Ryder hit his first hole-in-one at a PGA Tour-sanctioned event, and the celebration was what you’d expect on a hole with 20,000 fans, in the afternoon, with hours of absorption behind them.
Cans of beer rained onto the green, causing a delay of about 10-15 minutes while it was cleared so Kirk and Brian Harman could get out. On the tee box, Ryder’s caddy jumped into his arms to kick off the celebration.
“I was kinda looking right to the right and kind of wanted to get off [Kirk’s] ball and maybe it was an accidental pull from a yard or something, but it didn’t look like it was moving too fast on camera when I saw it, but in the air, it looked perfect,” Ryder said.
Even after finishing his game, the 32-year-old was still coming down from the adrenaline rush. “It was pretty crazy,” he said.
ARE YOU NOT FUN!? ALL the drinks on me 🍻🍻🍻 pic.twitter.com/xIfIL6NLxG
—Sam Ryder (@SamRyderSU) February 12, 2022
It was Ryder’s first hole-in-one since a Hooters Tour event in Florida, he said after the round. Ryder thought it might have been 2014 but, he added, it “didn’t compare to this one”.
It was the 10th hole-in-one since the Phoenix Open moved to TPC Scottsdale in 1987 and the first since Francisco Molinari’s in 2015. It also came 25 years after Tiger Woods hit his hole-in-one. a shot at the Phoenix Open on Saturday. of the 1997 tournament. Images of fans in the stands throwing cans of beer onto the green brought back memories of the tee box after that infamous hole-in-one.
“Honestly, it was amazing how quickly they were able to put everything together. There was debris everywhere and, you know, it was such a fun and exciting thing and I didn’t want some kind of negativity to overshadow something that was really so much fun and happy and stuff. But the crew did such a great job,” Ryder said. “The speed with which they cleaned everything up was pretty amazing. So hats off to them for being able to do that and hopefully it didn’t create too much of a blockage with the pace of play, but overall I think it was a pretty positive thing.”
Ryder plans to pass the ball to his parents, who walked with him in Saturday’s inning and saw the shot in person. It was almost impossible. Ryder handed the ball to his caddy, who cleaned it up and began returning it to him. Ryder told his caddy to put it in another pocket of his golf bag, but when he did, there were balls in that pocket.
They finally figured out what the correct ball was and hid it for safekeeping.
Ryder’s plans to celebrate his first hole-in-one on the PGA Tour have been muted. He said he would buy drinks for the housekeeping staff and the media center, but was just having dinner with his parents and friends who are in town. Then he’ll rest and try to figure out what happened on the other 17 holes on Saturday, which he finished tied to stay 6 under for the tournament, leaving him tied for 29th.
“I don’t know if I’m going to the Kygo concert or anything tonight,” he said.