During the long and distinguished history of the US Open, only three golfers have managed to snag the elusive albatross, or double eagle. That’s when you finish the hole three strokes under par; on a par five, that means you hit the ball into the cup in two strokes. There’s a reason it’s a rare feat. T.C. Chen did it at Oakland Hills in 1985 and Shaun Micheel did it at Pebble Beach in 2010. Joining them is Nick Watney, who scored a double eagle on the 522-yard 17th hole at Olympic Club in San Francisco, California.
“I can’t really remember what I was feeling. It was kind of disbelief and joy, and it was really exciting,” said Watney of his incredible feat. ”I haven’t played nearly as well as I would like, so I feel like my game is really headed in a good direction this week. There are a lot of big events left, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Watney actually attended the 1998 US Open at Olympic as a visitor, and being from northern California, it is a special achievement to play his home course for the US Open. The albatross helped propel Watney to a first round score of 69, good for second place on the day. Michael Thompson shot an incredible 66; Watney is one of many golfers–including Tiger Woods–to sit at second. Louis Oosthuizen is the last player to hit a double eagle on the tour, nailing one at the Masters last year.
Image: LA Times
Tags: Nick Watney, double eagle, albatross, Nick Watney hits double eagle, double eagle US open, US Open, third double eagle in US open history, Nick Watney albatross, Nick Watney albatross US Open, Nick Watney double eagle US Open, 17th hole, Olympic Club, San Francisco, California, PGA Golf, professional golf