LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – Playing alone on Royal Lytham & St. Annes late Wednesday afternoon, Brandt Snedeker hit an iron to the fairway on the 336-yard 16th hole. He then took out a driver to get an idea of the best line off the tee in case he wanted to get aggressive on the par 4 in the British Open.
''There were not many people out there, about six people,'' Snedeker said. ''By the time I got to my first ball to hit my wedge from the fairway, they were clapping by the green. I said, 'What are you clapping for?' They said, 'You made a hole-in-one.' I couldn't believe it.''
It was an albatross and an ace, all in one shot, even though it didn't count on two occasions – it was his second ball, and it was only a practice round.
No matter. Snedeker was thrilled.
''I didn't see it go in,'' he said. ''They said it was nothing out of the ordinary, just rolled in the middle of the hole.''
It was the second hole-in-one on a par 4 at a major this year during the practice round. At Olympic Club for the U.S. Open, Alvaro Quiros of Spain made an ace on the 288-yard seventh hole. But there was one big difference. A camera had been stationed behind the seventh green at Olympic and captured the big moment.
No such video for Snedeker, just a moment he won't soon forget.
''I was just trying to get a line where to hit driver,'' Snedeker said. Walking off the green, he turned to caddie Scott Vail and said, ''I think we got the line.''
As for the memento? That belongs to a lucky English lad who happened to be watching.
''I signed the ball and gave it to a kid,'' Snedeker said.