AUGUSTA, Ga. — There were a record three holes-in-one on the par-3 16th Sunday, but none of them compared to the one hit by former Masters runner-up Louis Oosthuizen.
After J.B. Holmes hit his tee shot to within 5 feet, Ooosthuizen’s ball hit the green, caromed off Holmes’ ball as it headed down the slope and found the cup.
All perfectly legal.
Holmes, by the way, replaced his ball where it originally sat and made his birdie putt en route to a final-round 68 and a tie for fourth. Oosthuizen tied for 15th.
Earlier Sunday, Shane Lowry and Davis Love III aced the 16th within 26 minutes of each other, but without the bank shots.
It’s the first time a hole has been aced three times in the same Masters.
In 80 Masters, there have been 18 aces at 16. On Augusta National Golf Club’s other three par-3s, there have been only nine combined.
In addition to former LSU golfer Smylie Kaufman, who tied for 29th at 7-over, former University High golfer Patrick Reed shot a 76 on Sunday to finish in a tie for 49th at 12-over.
Reed, playing in his third Masters, did not break par all week.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, with Lafayette native Ted Scott as his caddie, shot a 71 Sunday to tie for 37th at 9-over.
A number of prominent players who have committed to play in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, April 28-May 1, were in this week’s Masters field.
The top finisher among the early commitments was Paul Casey, who tied for fourth at 1-under. Jason Day and Justin Rose, the Zurich’s defending champion, tied for 10th at 1-over.
Also making the cut were 2012 champion Billy Horschel, who tied for 17th, and Kaufman.
Watson, who won the Zurich in 2011, is not expected to play.
Prize money stays the same
Hopefully Danny Willett won’t mind converting lots of dollars into pounds.
The Masters awarded a $10 million total purse for the second straight year, with $1.8 million to the winner.
The Masters is always contested the first full week of April. Here are the official dates for the next three years:
April 6-9, 2017
April 5-8, 2018
April 11-14, 2019
2017 Drive, Chip & Putt
Registration is underway for 2017 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship, to be held April 2 at Augusta National.
There will again be two local qualifiers and one sub-regional in Louisiana. Local qualifiers will be May 28 at the David Toms Golf Academy in Shreveport and June 23 at The Island Country Club in Plaquemine. Winners advance to the Aug. 9 sub-regional at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.
Winners there qualify for a Sept. 10 regional at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Boys and girls ages 7-15 are eligible to compete in separate divisions in four age categories. Entries close May 23 for Shreveport and June 18 for Plaquemine.
To register, visit DriveChipandPutt.com. Ticket applications will be available on the website this spring.
Willett was only the third Masters champion to shoot a bogey-free final round 67 or better. The others were Phil Mickelson (67) in 2010 and Doug Ford (66) in 1957. … Willett is just the second player from England to win, after three-time champion Nick Faldo, and the first European to win since Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999. … When the wind died down Sunday, so did the scores. The final round average was 72.7, by far the lowest of the week. Thursday’s average was 74.1, followed by Friday (75.0) and Saturday (75.7).
The last word
“It’s not been a bad last 12 days. Words can’t describe the feelings of what’s going on and what we’ve just accomplished.”
— Willett, whose first child was born nearly two weeks ago