There was no better way for Chris Kirk to start his week at Mayakoba.
With a 6-iron in his hand, Kirk's tee shot on the 204-yard 10th hole landed short of the green, skipped onto the putting surface and dropped for an opening ace.
If only he’d been able to see it.
“We were the first group out (6:55 a.m. local), so it was still kind of overcast and dark,” Kirk said, telling the story a few hours later. “Walking up, as we got close to the green, it was like: There’s not a ball there. There’s not a ball there. My caddie was like, ‘I swear I saw it rolling on the green,’ so I was like, ‘It’s either in, or it’s just over in the rough.’
“And sure enough, Danny (Lee) and Jonas (Blixt) actually got up there before I did and started celebrating early. ...
“It made me feel a little better about my 4:30 wakeup call this morning.”
Kirk is the first player since Keith Mitchell – on the same hole, in 2017 – to make an ace on his first hole.
Kirk’s hole-in-one helped propel him to a 7-under 64 on a day of low scoring at the World Wide Technology Championship. He was three off the early pace set by Matthew Wolff.
Starting on the 10th hole at El Camaleon, Kirk went eagle-par-birdie-eagle – and he was perhaps most surprised by the par. With only a wedge left into the par-4 11th, his approach grazed the cup and spun back to the front of the green, leading to a two-putt par.
“That would have been insane,” he said. “I was definitely happy with the start.”
It was Kirk’s best round since a first-round 64 at the Wyndham Championship in August. He doesn’t have a top-10 on Tour since mid-April.
He wasn't the only player to make an ace on Day 1 as John Huh did so at the short par-3 eighth during the afternoon wave.