AUGUSTA, Ga. — The 16th hole proved particularly generous on Sunday during the final round of the Masters, relinquishing aces to Shane Lowry, Davis Love III and Louis Oosthuizen within a two-hour span.
Oosthuizen’s came courtesy of an “assist” from J.B. Holmes’ ball, which was sitting on the green about 5 feet from the flagstick. The South African’s ball hit it, but instead of veering right and away from the cup, the ball caught the break and trickled in.
“I saw my ball pitch in a good spot to have a chance and then I saw J.B.’s ball and I thought, ‘oh there goes the chance of a 1,'” Oosthuizen said. “And then I just really watched the crowd and walking up there I could see one was in there obviously really close and the other one is in.
“So I was just hoping that it was my ball that was in and not J.B.’s because then neither of us would have a hole-in-one, he would have had to move his ball back. But, yeah, it was good, the way I played today, nothing was really happening, so it was nice to do that, to just have a bit of a better day.”
There had never been three aces on a single hole in a single day in Masters history. For the aces, Oosthuizen, Love and Lowry will receive large crystal bowls etched with the Masters logo. Love actually thought he had squandered his last chance to grab some of that coveted crystal.
He missed his eagle putt at the 13th hole, and he didn’t even have a putt at one on Augusta National’s final par 5. So adding to his collection of crystal glasses would have to wait another year.
“I was kind of disappointed that I spent the whole week here and didn’t win anything,” the U.S. Ryder Cup captain said.
Love remedied the situation at the 16th hole, though, when his 7-iron found the cup. He’s made birdies there before but “I don’t think I ever came close to making it,” Love said.
Love, who earned his ticket to the Masters when he won last year’s Wyndham Championship at the age of 51, birdied the 17th hole, too, hitting a 6-iron to 13 feet.
“Maybe you should get something for a birdie,” Love said. “I was just as happy about that as I was the hole-in-one. … It was a great way to finish my Masters.”
Love and Webb Simpson, his playing partner, actually heard the roars for the first ace but they weren’t sure if someone had actually holed it or chipped in. Lowry was playing two groups ahead of them.
“We said that’s kind of like a hole-in-one but it wasn’t quite loud enough,” Love said. “… And then when we got down there and heard what a hole-in-one roar sounds like we said, wow, that was really loud down here. So I thought we were pretty sure somebody had made one.”
Lowry, who was among the leaders after an opening 68, said it was a “perfect” shot.
“I just hit it in right of the hole and it just took it down in,” the Northern Irishman said. “I feel pretty lucky to have a hole in one around this place, in this tournament.
“I’m sure I’ll get a picture somewhere and frame it in the house and it will be nice memento to have.”