PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

Pros just like us

Watch the PGA Tour's rookie of the year roll an eagle putt 150 feet off a green

January 08, 2023

Harry How

There will be a day when Cameron Young can look back at what happened on the 15th hole Saturday afternoon at the Plantation Course and laugh a little bit about what transpired. Mind you, that day probably don’t come until the Sentry Tournament of Champions is over, and the pain of the moment feels less fresh. But the xx-year-old has the sense of humor where he’ll ultimately enjoy that fact that that a misjudged putt made him the most relatable tour pro of the day for those watching the scene unfold on the televisions from beautiful Maui.

Young, the reigning PGA Tour rookie of the year pro everybody wanted to partner with on the American side at last September’s Presidents Cup, was at 10 under for the tournament, four under on the afternoon and just, six shots off the lead, when he hit the green on the par 5 in two, leaving himself a 56-foot putt for eagle. As the microphones picked up, however, Young’s next shot was tricky in that it was a downhill, down grain putt with the potential to wander if it wasn’t handled with care.

And wander it did, as you can see with this video:

At one point as the ball approached the hole, it looked like Young played it too far to the right, but then suddenly it darted to the left. But not enough and not without too much speed as it also rushed past the hole and painful wasn’t close to stopping on the fringe of the green.

When the ball finally came to rest down a hill fronting the green, it was now just shy of 151 feet from the hole, having rolled more than 200 feet.

If the eagle putt was tricky, Young’s chip for birdie wasn’t any easier as he now was facing an uphill shot into the grain that had potential to land short and roll back off the green. Which, unfortunately for Young, is just what happened.

“Wow,” TV analyst Paul Azinger said as things unfolded during the Golf Channel broadcast with the eagle putt. “That … really it’s like a jolt to your system when something like that happens to you as a player. It’s embarrassing and you have a blood rush from that one.”

For his fifth shot, Young played a pitch shot hard and low, hitting it 12 feet past the hole, the ball rolling back to six feet. He holed that putt for a bogey 6. He’d finish his round birdie, bogey, birdie to post a four under 69, but as leader Collin Morikawa pulled away later in the day with a Saturday 65, Young wound ending the third round 14 shots off the pace.

From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten: Most golf fans are familiar with Kapalua Golf Club’s Plantation Course, home of the PGA Tour's opening event each year. Located on the north shore of the Hawaiian island of Maui, the Plantation was built from open, windswept pineapple fields on the pronounced slope of a volcano and is irrigated by sprinklers pressured solely by gravity. As the first design collaboration by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, it unveiled their joint admiration for old-style courses. The blind drive on the fourth, the cut-the-corner drives on the fifth and sixth are all based on tee shots found at National Golf Links. So, too, are its punchbowl green and strings of diagonal bunkers. It's also a massive course, built on a huge scale, Coore says, to accommodate the wind and the slope and the fact that it gets mostly resort play.


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