Jonathan Byrd Cards an Ace to Win

Jonathan Byrd Cards an Ace to WinLast weeks PGA Tour Fall Series event was the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The PGA Tour Fall Series is a great chance for players trying to secure a tour card for the upcoming year since many of the worlds best players are not completing as they relax after completion of the FedEx Cup.   This year’s event ran from Thursday, October 21st through Sunday, October 24, 2010 and was hosted at the TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada. The TPC Summerlin was designed by Bobby Weed and Fuzzy Zoeller and opened in 1992. For the tournament, the course played as a 7,243 yard par 71.

After four rounds, three players finished tied at twenty-one under par.  The three players were Jonathan Byrd, Martin Laird (defending champion) and Cameron Percy.  As is standard on the PGA Tour’s regular events, the three players headed back onto the course for a sudden death playoff.

After three playoff holes, all carried over with pars, the three gentlemen gathered together to discuss the possibility of postponing the finish due to darkness.  Clearly, the fans wanted to see them keep playing and cheered them on.  Because they were about to play a par three, they agreed that there was enough light to play one more hole.

Jonathan Byrd has the honor and pulls out his six iron for the 204 yard slightly downhill par 3, 17th.  The 17th has water all along the front and left and the pin was located middle left.  He hits his shot. He can see it take off and curving toward the flag but, due to darkness, can’t see it land.  All of a sudden, the crowd starts cheering.  Here’s what he missed.  It landed about ten feet short of the hole, released and rolled into the cup. A hole in one.

How would you like to be Martin and Cameron knowing that you need to hole a 204 yard shot to extend a playoff?  Turns out they both hit their shots in the water and Jonathan Byrd was the winner picking up his 4th PGA Tour Title and 1st win for 2010. Because of darkness, Jonathan never got a chance to go down to the green and pick out his ball.   They rushed him over to the 18 green to complete the award ceremony.  Can you imagine? You make a hole in one to win a PGA Tour event and you don’t even get to see it or experience the gratification of pulling it out of the hole. I’m guessing the $774,000.00 1st place prize money and two-year exemption will ease some of the pain. Jonathan was one of those players sitting very close to the PGA Tour card cut line as he entered the event 117th on the money list.

This was the first time in PGA Tour history that a sudden death playoff was decided by a hole in one.  There have been some very memorable hole outs for eagle to win PGA Tour events and a hole in one to qualify into a US Open but never a hole in one to win in a playoff.

Congratulations to Jonathan Byrd for his victory at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open and for adding his name to the record books.

This is a guest blog post that was written by John Graham from John Graham Golf.