Birdies are the goal of any golfer. While they happen more frequently on the professional level, it doesn’t discount the fact that we all are trying to get the ball in the hole in the fewest number of strokes.
If you’re lucky on your 18-hole journey, maybe you’ll come across an eagle or in rare instances, an albatross, but if you’re not lucky, live vicariously as we take a look at 10 rare Tour pro birds in competition.
We get our rare bird list started with this Louis Oosthuizen albatross during the final round of the 2012 Masters. On the par-5 2nd hole, he brought back shades of Sarazen with his own “shot heard round the world.” It was a 253-yard 4-iron that pitched off the front of the green and tracked all the way back to the hole for the deuce.
This from 94 feet, 7 inches.
PHIL. THE. THRILL. https://t.co/1CLaiS2TfA
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 22, 2016
Phil Mickelson found this rare birdie on the first hole of the 2016 Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. After putting himself in a precarious position on the back of the green, Lefty used his deft touch to combine the perfect speed and line to drain this 94-foot bomb.
Who can ever forget David Toms’ epic 5-wood on the 15th hole on Sunday afternoon of the 2001 PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club? This unlikely ace gave Toms the spark he needed to fend off a charging Phil Mickelson down the stretch to claim his first major. Phil finished runner-up, obviously.
Aaron Baddeley made the rarest of birdies at the 2015 Valero Texas Open. On the short par-4 17th hole, he went for the green, but as you can tell by the shot tracker, missed badly into the trees forcing him to take an unplayable and walk back to tee. As if it were fate, Baddeley holed out his next shot for a 336-yard birdie. “I just thought I’d just hit it straight and so I hit it and started walking and then heard the crowd going nuts,” he said. “I was like, wait, I just made birdie.”
We aren’t exactly sure how this par-4 ace happened, but for Australian Tour pro, Richard Green, he’ll take it. His tee shot looked like it had beach written all over it, but then it somehow managed to pop out of the sand and make a b-line straight for the cup. It crashed into the pin and dropped for one of the rarest albatrosses we’ve seen.
In the rare case of quantity over quality, Kevin Streelman’s performance on Sunday during the final round of the 2014 Travelers Championship was one to behold. KS rattled off a PGA Tour record seven consecutive birdies en route to the victory. However, it should be noted that the record for most birdies in a row on the PGA Tour is nine (!) held by Mark Calcavecchia during the second round of the 2009 RBC Canadian Open.
Gracing this list for the second time, Louis Oosthuizen’s ace on the 16th hole during the 2016 Masters made the pines reverberate around the grounds of Augusta for several minutes for good reason. After using the contours of the green to perfection, his ball knocked into his playing partner’s and gravity then took over from there. Talk about a member’s bounce!
Tiger Woods has made plenty of birdies in his day at Augusta National, but this chip on 16 during the final round of the 2005 Masters was arguably the most ridiculous. He went to win his fourth green jacket in a playoff against Chris DiMarco. In your life!
Chris Stroud & Brian Stuard
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 29, 2017
It’s not very often the PGA Tour holds a team event, but when they do, expect the unexpected. The team of Chris Stroud and Brian Stuard turned it into a family affair during alternate shot when Stroud hit his sister Tammy of all people with his wayward drive. Stuard then found the green on the approach and Stroud cleaned things up with sinking a seven-footer for birdie. Thanks, sis!
Masters 2017: Sergio Garcia | 15th Hole, Round 4 pic.twitter.com/OJ2aTFlxw4
— Masters Highlights (@MastersMoments) April 9, 2017
Sergio’s first major victory came on the heels of one of the most epic eagles at Augusta National in recent memory. Coming down the stretch on Sunday, the fiery Spaniard grazed the pin with his approach on the par-5 15th hole. He drained he putt to tie him for the lead, and he never looked back. It was Garcia’s first eagle at the Masters in 452 holes! Vamos!