SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA (AP) – On Super Bowl weekend, the golf ball that etched Sam Ryder’s name into PGA Tour history will be displayed in Ryder’s own Hall of Fame – his parents’ house.
In the third round of the 2022 WM Phoenix Open on Saturday afternoon, Ryder hit a hole-in-one on the notorious 16th hole. He’s only the tenth golfer to birdie the 124-yard par 3 that looks more like a football stadium than a golf hole.
The Srixon ball, Ryder said, is like a football player’s first touchdown ball – it’s meant to be kept safe. In terms of where it would be stored, Ryder stated that it will be kept by his parents.
Following the round, Ryder’s mother, Kelly, stated, “I’m going to safeguard it.”
From the 16th hole tee box, Kelly and her husband Art watched the chaos unfold. Their son’s name will be etched beside Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker on a plaque honoring golfers who have reached the holy grail of golf the next time they visit TPC Scottsdale.”
“I don’t believe anyone else will ever have a finer athletic event than that,” Art stated. “Having it be your son was incredible.”
Kelly said she was speechless as the ball landed on the green and all she could do was joke about whether it was real or not. And sob.
Ryder’s first response to the buried shot was to leap into the arms of his caddy. However, Ryder was so concentrated on what the stroke caused to his scorecard that his ball was almost mixed in with others in a side pocket of his golf bag once they retrieved it.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!? ALL the drinks on me 🍻🍻🍻 pic.twitter.com/xIfIL6NLxG
— Sam Ryder (@SamRyderSU) February 12, 2022
Ryder explained, “I was looking at my scorecard trying to figure out which holes I made bogie or birdie on.”
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The 32-year-old pro was even par after shooting a 2-under round. While Art saw the immediate impact, he was more concerned with the legacy it left behind.
Art compared his son’s shot on 16 to Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” the game-winning home run that sent the New York Giants to the World Series in 1951.
“Those two strokes are crucial,” Art remarked. “However, having your name inscribed in the tournament’s history… That is something that will always be there. People will still be talking about Sam Ryder’s home run long after I’m gone.”
“My father is the type of man that recalls every shot he’s ever taken,” Ryder explained. “That’s a hole I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”