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February 05, 2011

Brendan Steele's ace comes a few holes too soon

Posted at 7:15 PM by Gary Van Sickle | Categories: Brendan Steele, Waste Management Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—The ground-shaking moment Saturday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open undoubtedly came when Jarrod Lyle made a hole-in-one at the 16th, infamous as the loudest hole in golf. Lyle, Australia’s jovial answer to Tim (Lumpy) Herron, played to the roaring crowd and incited them to even greater decibels.

That shot was replayed on TV throughout the day.

Lyle’s moment wasn’t the day’s only ace, however. Brendan Steele holed a 7-iron shot on the par-3 12th hole, but the ground didn’t shake. “It was a couple of holes too early,” said Steele’s caddie, shaking his head.

Steele, a rookie from Idyllwild, Calif., played in the final threesome that started the second round on the back nine. The ace came on his third hole of the day, and the timing couldn’t have been better since he was in danger of missing the cut after shooting a one-over-par 72 in the opening round Thursday.

“It’s pretty awesome to make a one, especially in a round where I really needed it,” Steele said. “I was feeling pretty good by the time I made the turn.”

Steele birdied three of the next five holes after the ace, shot 31 on the back and posted a 65 to make the cut. When he finished his second round at 4:30, he had only 30 minutes before he had to go back to the tee to start his third round, which was only going to last an hour before darkness fell.

Unlike Lyle’s shot, Steele’s wasn’t caught on video. He also didn’t celebrate nearly as much, nor did he have nearly as big a crowd as Lyle did at the amphitheater 16th.

“Nobody had a camera out there,” he said. “But a one is a one. I gave some high fives to some people, nothing too much. The shot was a little back into the wind, which meant my 7-iron had to be struck really well to get there. I hit it well and it started on line but I wasn’t thinking it could go in. Then it landed, took one nice bounce and rolled in. Everybody went crazy. Not as crazy as they would’ve gone on 16, but crazy.”

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