Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia claim unique spot in golfing history with back-to-back holes-in-one
Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia both crashed out at the quarter-final stage of the WGC Match Play as the Americans re-emphasised their impressive depth ahead of this year’s Ryder Cup. But the European pair left Texas claiming a unique place in golfing folklore. Has a hole ever before witnessed back-to-back aces in professional competition? That was the question the statisticians were scrambling to answer as Fleetwood emulated Garcia’s hole-in-one on the fourth at Austin Country Club. There was a day between the shots on the par three, but that hardly diminishes the remarkable nature of this consecutive double feat. Garcia was on the fourth sudden-hole of his final group game on Friday, when, with Lee Westwood already on the green, the Spaniard watched his effort fly over the flag, before spinning back into the cup. “Well, 28 years on tour and I thought I’d seen everything. I hadn’t!” Westwood tweeted, after reflecting on Garcia’s walk-off shot. Westwood should have hung around. It was about to get weirder still. The National Hole-In-One Registry reports that the odds of two players playing together making aces on the same hole as 17million-1. To put that in perspective, the odds of getting struck by lightning are 960,000-1. Those odds are perhaps reduced because of the expertise of Fleetwood and Garcia, but even so… Westwood could not believe it, tweeting straight after Fleetwood’s shot: “Incredible! Amazing! Never seen anything like it! Oh wait!!!” It was a little over 14 hours after Garcia’s glory when Fleetwood was the very next pro to take on the hole, having gone one-up in the opening last-16 encounter against South African Dylan Frittelli. Of course, the hole was cut on a different part of the green and the tee had been put 19 yards back from Friday and was now playing 179 yards. Using a seven-iron to Garcia’s nine-iron, Fleetwood also flew the pin, employing the slope to bring it into the cup. If the outcome was eerily familiar then the celebration was the exact opposite. There was no acknowledgement from Fleetwood, just the merest of smirks.