ORLANDO, Fla. – Consider it golf’s version of hitting for the cycle.
Daniel Berger put together a par-5 performance for the ages Saturday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational: one par, one birdie, one eagle and one jaw-dropping albatross.
The highlight of the day came at No. 6, where his 4-iron from 237 yards barely cleared the hazard in front of the green before dropping for a 2, the first albatross in tournament history.
“After I hit it, I flushed it and (my caddie said), ‘Get up.’ And I thought, ‘Wow, that does need to get up a little bit.’” Berger said. “It landed perfect. I didn’t see it go in but the way the crowd reacted I figured it was either in or close.”
Berger has made one hole-in-one in his career, but he now has two albatrosses – he also made one in an AJGA event when he was 15 years old.
“This was a little better,” he said.
Berger’s par-5 antics didn’t stop there: he also chipped in for birdie at No. 12 and made a 39-foot eagle putt on No. 16. He played the four par-5s at Bay Hill in 6 under, propelling him to a 4-under 68 that moved him to 7 under for the week.
“Anytime you play the par-5s that many under par, you’re going to have a pretty good day,” he said. “I put myself in good position for tomorrow. Just shoot another low one and I’ll be right in there.”
The 21-year-old is in the midst of a successful rookie campaign, with six top-25 finishes highlighted by his playoff loss at the Honda Classic earlier this month.
“Obviously I just have to keep doing what I’ve been working for,” he said. “I’m a little bit more confident in my game (after Honda), but overall I’m the same person. It’s just my job, got to keep getting better.”
As for the albatross ball?
“I threw it to a little kid in the crowd,” he said. “Maybe it made his day. He may not know who I am, but that’s fine.”