May 9 2013
By PGATOUR.COM staff
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- En route to tying the course record of 63 on Thursday at THE PLAYERS Championship, Roberto Castro birdied the 16th, 17th and 18th holes -- otherwise known as "The Gauntlet" at the Stadium Course.
The birdie streak came as Castro finished his opening nine holes after starting his first round on the 10 hole. He credited the birdie stretch as "kickstarting" his round. Castro was 2 under on his first six holes before stepping on the tee at the par-5 16th.
According to PGA TOUR stats guru Luis Rivera, this is the 75th time in tournament history a player has birdied all three holes in The Gauntlet in a single round since TPC Sawgrass began hosting THE PLAYERS in 1982.
Three players achieved the feat last year -- Martin Kaymer (second round), Spencer Levin (third round) and Pat Perez (first round). It was Kaymer's second time to do it; he also birdied The Gauntlet in the first round in 2009.
Five players did it in 2011 but only one in 2010.
History, unfortunately, is not in Castro's favor for the rest of this week. Of the 74 previous times that it has been done, none of those players went on to win the tournament that year.
Mark McCumber has done it once in 1989 (first round) and again in 1990 (final round), but his PLAYERS win came in 1988.