On Thursday, Bryson DeChambeau lamented missing the first hole-in-one of his career after coming just short on the 16th hole.
“The whole time it was rolling (I thought it was going in),” DeChambeau said. “I’ve never had an ace, ever, unfortunately. I was really hoping it would go in.”
He got his wish four days later. DeChambeau, a 25-year-old rising star with a physics degree, aced the 16th on Sunday. He immediately leapt for joy and then hugged the first person he saw, 20-year-old Japanese amateur Takumi Kanaya, one of his two playing partners in the round.
“Finally,” DeChambeau said. “I knew something was going to happen this week. I didn’t know what it was going to be. Obviously shooting 66 the first round I thought it was going to be something even more special, but I was able to make a 1, my first 1 on 16. I knew back three years ago I said to my caddie and to everyone in my camp it was like, ‘I’m going to make a hole‑in‑one here one day,’ and sure enough it was my first one three years later.”
Robert Son, 44, flew to Georgia from Korea this week to take in his first Masters. He’s taking home a rare souvenir — a large bruise on the back of his right arm.
Tony Finau’s 296-yard drive off the fifth tee hit Son on the fly as it drifted into the patrons on the right side of the fairway. The ball made a very audible sound as it hit Son, who declined medical treatment but rubbed the bruise for a good two minutes after he was hit.
What he did not get out of the deal was a souvenir of any other kind. Finau did not acknowledge the spectators or ask if anyone had been hit when he arrived at his ball. Son was holding out hope for an autographed ball and glove, he said.
“I’m OK,” he said.
Son left the hole hoping for Finau to win the tournament so he’d have a story to go with his bruise. No such luck, though. Finau, bogeyed the fifth hole, and finished fifth overall.
In the press room
In American sports writing, the adage “no cheering in the press box” is sacrosanct. An announcement is made before every South Carolina football game, for instance, to remind people that the room is a working environment and anyone cheering will be asked to leave.
That’s clearly not the norm in international golf writing, and it becomes evident each year an international player is in contention at the Masters.
Sunday, it was Italian Francesco Molinari who was out front much of the day, and his shots drew big reactions from the Italian press in the media room, including a loud “Go in!” exclamation as a chip on the 10th hole rolled toward the cup.