J.B. Holmes made a little bit of history Saturday at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club.
When Holmes' second shot on the par-5 15th hole rolled into the cup, Holmes had recorded the first double-eagle in tournament history and just the second this season on the PGA Tour.
The double-eagle - which the long-hitting Holmes followed with a birdie on the 16th - allowed him to finish with a 7-under par 65 for a three-day and 9-under for the tournament. He's tied for ninth with Davis Love III, six shots behind leader Jonathan Byrd.
"You know, you hit one like that, you're just hoping for it to be up there around 4 or 5 feet," said Holmes. "I saw it bounce and I thought when it hit the ground maybe it could be a little long.
"But then everybody started cheering."
Holmes had hit a 344-yard drive over some trees and down the left side of the 563-yard, dog-leg left 15th, closer than he was comfortable with to the lake that hugs that side of the fairway. From there, though, he had a clear, 213-yard shot to the green, which is elevated and shielded by a bunker in front.
Holmes lofted a 5-iron high, bouncing the ball about 40 feet from the hole, where it nearly checked up before beginning a slow roll toward the hole, which was placed near the back of the green.
"We were talking about (not wanting) to really get past the hole, to try to stay a little short of it," said Holmes. "But I put a really good swing on it, right where I wanted to. It looked great the whole way."
As the ball neared the cup - on line - the noise from the gallery grew, urging the ball to go in.
Then Holmes, who could only see the top of the flag, heard the roar.
"Did it really go in?" Holmes said to himself.
It had, and it was the first double eagle of Holmes' life. He's had two holes-in-one, but they're actually much easier to come by than double eagles. In fact, from 1993-2003, there were 631 aces on the tour and just 56 "albatrosses."
There's even a website exclusively devoted to the double-eagle - www.doubleeagleclub.net. - which answers all kinds information about the rare event. Including: who had the first double eagle ("Young" Tom Morris at the 1870 British Open at Prestwick Golf Club; and who has the most in competition (Moe Irwin on the Canadian PGA Tour with nine).
Holmes wasn't finished scoring after his double eagle, although Quail Hollow's grueling three finishing holes still remained. He promptly birdied No. 16, sinking a 25-foot putt to do so.
"I definitely had some adrenaline going, but I had a little walk to wear off," said Holmes said. "It was a long walk up to the green, so I had a while before my next shot.
"It was a great two holes for me."
But it was the 15th that will be memorable for Holmes, who celebrated by going to the practice range after his round. And he knows how tough what he did actually is.
"From that distance," he said, "it's hard to get that ball to go into that little hole."