The ninth person to make a hole in one on the rowdiest hole of the PGA Tour season
Francesco Molinari enjoyed golfing ecstasy last week as he became the ninth person to make a hole in one on the rowdiest hole of the PGA Tour season.
The 32-year old from Turin, who finished tied for 22nd, fired a pitching wedge just past the hole that then spun back into the cup prompting pandemonium in the gigantic crowd. ‘The roar at 16th today was as loud as I’ve heard!’, tweeted the jubilant three-time European Tour winner.
Molinari is widely regarded as one of the best ball-strikers on Tour and currently sits inside the top 15 of the green-in-regulation and fairways hit statistics for the 2015 PGA Tour season.
Tens of thousands of spectators erupted in excitement, displaying their appreciation by throwing objects onto the hole from the grandstands surrounding the shortest par 3 on the course.
Five other birdies in Molinari’s round including one at the driveable 17th hole helped the Italian shoot a 7-under 64 on the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course on Saturday. However, this wasn’t the lowest round of the day or tournament as the young Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama finished his round with four successive birdies for an 8-under 63.
However, neither player ended the tournament with the all-important victory as Brooks Koepka fired a final round 66 to triumph over Bubba Watson, Ryan Palmer and Matsuyama by one shot.
The most recent previous ace on the same hole came from Jarrod Lyle in 2011. There has only been one other since the beginning of the millennium, from Mike Sposa in 2002.
The most famous hole in one on the 16th at the Phoenix Open came in 1997 as Tiger Woods, in his first full season on the PGA Tour, holed a 9-iron. The first came from ex-Ryder Cup Team USA Captain, Hal Sutton, in 1988.