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The rarest bird

Mike Modano accomplishes this genuinely notable first at the Lake Tahoe Celebrity event

July 10, 2021

Golf fans typically have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude when it comes to the American Century Championship. While the most prestigious of the events on the celebrity circuit—“their major” as some veterans of the ACC refer to it—it’s a little like trying to say RC Cola tastes the same as Coke and Pepsi when comparing the event to tour competition.

And yet, you do have to hand it to the regulars in the Lake Tahoe event, many of whom are scratch golfers, on the way they grind it out in the event year in and year out. And given that, you have to give all kinds of praise to Mike Modano for what he accomplished during the first round of the event on Friday, regardless of your stance on giggle golf.

Modano, an NHL Hall of Famer, was playing the par-5 18th hole at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. His drive left him with 205 yards to the hole, so he pulled a 7-iron for hit his second shot. From his body language, it would appear that he thought he had lost the shot to the right, but then the darndest thing happened.

Wow. As it turns out, Modano’s double eagle is the first in the 32-year history of the event was also a career first for the 51-year-old in competition.

“I can't believe it. I can't believe it,” Modano said. “We were struggling between the 6 and 7. I was, like, I just want to try to ride the wind and just avoid Laimbeer's Lake there and get on the putting surface. It came off good. My eyesight is shot at 51. So I'm, like, I can't see things halfway off the club. TJ [Oshie, a fellow hockey player] went crazy. And some people over by the side went nuts. I was like, man, that may have went in. So pretty cool.

With play using a modified Stableford scoring system, the albatross was worth 10 points, which vaulted Modano expectedly into a share of the top position in the tournament with MLB Hall of Famer and Be Right podcast regular John Smoltz at 25 points.