October 24, 2010
Jonathan Byrd didn't move. He didn't high five, he didn't jump up and down, he didn't even smile. The 32-year-old PGA Tour veteran had hit the shot of 2010, and as it disappeared in near darkness, he just stood there, slumped over like a guy should be when something happens that is nearly unforgettable.
If you haven't heard, Bryd made a hole-in-one on the fourth playoff hole to win the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Bryd aced the 204-yard par-3 17th hole to beat Martin Laird and Cameron Percy in near darkness on Sunday in Las Vegas after discussing just moments earlier if the playoff should continue.
It was the perfect shot at the perfect time, landing just 15 feet short of the pin and rolling dead center as announcers and players alike celebrated.
Byrd stood there, hands on his hips, asking his caddie if the ball really went in. It was so dark that even the guys on the tee couldn't see if what had happened really actually happened, but it did, and Byrd now has two more years on the PGA Tour.
People talk about stars aligning, but most situations have nothing on what Byrd was able to accomplish. On the third playoff hole, Byrd's shot went over the green, nearly sinking in the water, but stayed up, and he was able to pitch it to 7 feet and save par. Moments after, the discussion started about darkness and Byrd answered, "I'll let you guys decide." After that, he knocked it in for an ace, becoming the first player in PGA Tour history to make an ace to win a playoff.
The shot will be overshadowed in the coming days because of everything else in sports that is going on, but it shouldn't. It was the perfect swing, at the perfect time, and resulted in the perfect ending.
Golfers think of making a putt all the time to win the tournament of their dreams, but an ace? That's just incredible.