Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps plays to a 16-handicap, but he looked like a major champion on one hole Friday.
Phelps is playing this week in the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, a pro-celebrity event similar to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA Tour, held each year on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.
Phelps hit his drive on the par-4 sixth hole at Kingsbarns up to the front edge of the green. From there – 51 yards away from the pin – he pulled out his putter, gave it a rap and watched the ball roll – and roll, and roll – right into the hole. In all, it took the ball about 17 seconds make its journey from putter to cup – that’s about as long as it takes Phelps to swim 50 yards.
With his handicap, Phelps’ eagle-2 became a net hole-in-one.
''That was the longest putt I've ever holed,'' said Phelps, the owner of 18 Olympic gold medals. ''It was pretty incredible, watching it dive in was a pretty cool feeling. So to be able to have a net hole-in-one was pretty special.
Elsewhere this week, Phelps has been playing to his handicap. He and pro partner Paul Casey finished 36 holes at 9 under – 12 shots behind the team leaders, Thongchai Jaidee and his amateur partner, Hugh Courtney Jr.
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