Magee stepped to the 333-yard 17th hole in a bit of a funk. Two holes earlier he'd doubled the easiest hole on the course, the par-5 15th. He bounced back with birdie at 16.
'I had that double and I'm thinking, 'Great, another good start' (Magee teed off on number 10). I had had a double in Tuscon and a triple in Hawaii. Then when I birdied 16, I was like, 'Whoopie. Big deal.''
Now Magee has the honor. Ahead, Gary Nicklaus, Steve Pate and Tom Byrum were on the green at 17.
'I had never bounced a ball up on that green,' said Magee. Keep in mind Magee's a Scottsdale area resident who's played the TPC course many times.
So Magee swung away.
'I just killed it,' he said.
Meanwhile on the green, Byrum,to the left of and below the cup, was lining up an eight footer for par. Magee's ball hit on the first cut of the green, 11 paces short of the cup, bounced once and began to roll.
This is where Rusty Uresti enters the picture. Caddying for Nicklaus, he saw the ball.
'I said, 'Look out,' but instead of moving out of the way, Tom just kinda turned in that direction,' Uresti recounted to The Phoenix Tribune. 'The ball goes right at his putter and his putter just happened to be at just the right angle. It bounced off and goes straight into the hole.'
Cracked the Tour's top one-liner artist, Steve Pate, 'It was the best putt Tom hit all day.'
Byrum, who finished with an even par 71, didn't seem quite as amused.
'(Magee) just hit into us and (the ball) hit my putter and went into the hole,' he said. 'What else is there to say?'
What else is there to say? Lighten up Tom.
What did Magee see from his vantage point on 17 tee?
'I see a ball rolling toward the cup,' he said. 'I don't know if it's my ball or if it's someody's putt. Then I hear the crowd and I say,'That sounds like a hole-in-one.''
Magee wasn't sure what to record on his card. He consulted with an official, who gave him the good news. He'd made what is believed to be the only double eagle on a par 4 in the history of the PGA Tour. According to rule 19-1, hitting your ball off an outside agency, in this case the other player's putter, is simply the rub of the green. No penalty. Just so you know, had the ball hypothetically caromed off the putter, down a cart path and out of bounds, that would also be rub of the green, and too bad for Magee.
'The first thing I said to my caddie when I got to the 18th tee box was give me the ball before I snap hook it in the water,' said Magee, who like Pate is a scratch handicap wise cracker. 'It's in my pocket.'
Magee finished with five under 66. 'We were all in shock,' he said.
And now back to Rusty Uresti. He was caddying for his brother, Omar, in 1997. Paired with Woods, Omar staked his tee shot on 16 to within three feet. Tiger then jarred his and the place went bonkers.
Four years later, Uresti witnessed the unthinkable yet again, the Magee Miracle, as it's been dubbed.
The analysis from Uresti?
'Crazy,' he mused.
Par for the course at The Phoenix Open.
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