The final round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open was yesterday and it was one for the ages. Regulation play would not be able to determine a winner between Martin Laird (last years champ), Cameron Percy and Jonathan Byrd. These 3 headed to a playoff that saw them tie on the first 3 holes. Coming up to the 4th hole they were told they could continue on Monday since the daylight was getting scarce. The 3 agreed to play one more hole and they were able to stop if they could not read their putts on the green.
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Byrd stepped up to the tee box first and with one sweet swing of his 6 iron, the tournament was over. He landed his tee shot about 10 feet short of the hole where it just rolled up and in as if it were a putt. Since it was beginning to get dark, Byrd could not see the result of his shot and had to ask his caddie if it went it.
“It started perfect, it turned perfect and it was coming right down the flag,” Byrd said. “I thought I hit it too good. I thought I hit it too far. And I couldn’t see anything. But to hear the reaction as it went in, I was just in shock.”
Of course the tournament was not officially over, but the odds were in his favor. Laird and Percy both stepped up and attempted to follow Byrd’s ace and both ended up putting their shots in the drink. This was the first time in history that a PGA Tour victory was won with a walk-off hole in one and of course, this is the first year since it became the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open that I did not attend. Way to go, DiLo. Another first – This may be the first time anyone’s heart rate didn’t rise after getting a hole in one, let alone winning a tournament. I applaud his ice cold competitiveness.
This was Byrd’s first victory since 2007 and one that will not soon be forgotten in the golf world.