AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — By the time Louis Oosthuizen reached the 16th tee box at the Masters on Sunday, holes-in-one were a dime a dozen.
So, Oosthuizen gave ‘em an ace with a kiss.
The South African joined Shane Lowry and Davis Love III in the hole-in-one club at 16 but put his own special spin on it. Oosthuizen’s tee shot landed to the right of the hole, trickled down the slope, then caressed off the ball that J.B. Holmes had hit onto the green moments earlier.
The ricochet pushed Oosthuizen’s shot to the right, then the ball redirected — straight into the hole. It’s the first time there have been three aces on the same hole in the same Masters — let alone the same day at the Masters.
“If there’s a place where you want to make a long putt or a chip or something like that, that’s where you want to do it,” Oosthuizen said.
Seemed like everyone had that idea Sunday.
Early in the day, with the stands already full in the amphitheater setting on 16, Lowry knocked one in for the 16th ace to be recorded on the hole called “Redbud.” The crowd roared. Lowry high-fived playing partner Patrick Reed.
“I’ll put that picture up in my house and it will be a nice memento to have,” Lowry said.
An hour or so later, Love framed one, too, and won the crystal bowl that goes to anyone who makes an ace at the year’s first major. It was the fourth time there had been two holes-in-one on the same hole in the same round at the Masters.
“I don’t ever remember coming that close,’ Love said. “I made some 2s.”
Yes, he has.
Six years before Tiger Woods chipped in from the fringe on No. 16 — the shot that barely trickled over the lip and sparked Verne Lundquist’s “In Your Life?” call in 2005 — Love hit almost the exact same shot to make a 2.
The 16th hole is always set up for drama on Sundays.
“But you still have to hit a good shot,” Holmes said.
He did, too.
His tee shot stopped about 5 feet from the hole before Oosthuizen’s shot displaced it. Holmes replaced his ball, as is called for in the Rules of Golf, and made birdie. That was merely average on this day.
Meanwhile, Oosthuizen’s film reel grows.
On Sunday in 2012, he holed out from 253 yards away in the fairway on the par-5 second hole for a double-eagle 2. It gave him the lead, and conjured memories of the shot that put the Masters on the map: the double-eagle on 15 by Gene Sarazen that propelled him to a victory in 1935.
Oosthuizen finished runner-up back then, and was well out of the running this time. He finished at 3 over and was packing up by the time the leaders reached the hole where he made history.
“The ‘2,’ that was really nice,” Oosthuizen said. “But today, I went from being really down, not having a good day in perfect conditions, and to do that, it’s a big lifter.”