One swing, an albatross, and a new outlook for hard-charging Russell Knox
March 21, 2019
By Jeff Babineau, PGATOUR.COM
- March 21, 2019
Russell Knox cards 275-yard albatross at Valspar
PALM HARBOR, Fla. – The elusive albatross has landed once again.
Last week, it was Harris English holing a 3-iron at the 11th hole at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship. Deuce. Thursday in Round 1 at the Valspar Championship, Scotsman Russell Knox notched one of his own at the 575-yard 11th hole at Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course, holing a 3-wood from 275 yards for double eagle, his first on the PGA TOUR. Knox said he was just trying to get his second anywhere up near the green, but flushed the shot perfectly, right on line, and it carried the bunker, took a few hops and vanished in the hole for two.
“I mean, a massive bonus, obviously. It’s really cool to have an albatross,” said Knox, who’d covered his first nine holes in 38, then roared home in 6-under 29 to shoot 4-under 67. “I think it’s a bigger deal to have a hole-in-one, to be honest – even though it (an albatross) is more under par. Obviously, it was cool to have it. ... It’s great to go from plus-2 to minus-1 in one hole. That changes your outlook of the day real quick.”
Two double-eagles in eight days on the PGA TOUR? Pretty rare. There were only two recorded all of last season: Brooks Koepka made two on No. 16 in THE PLAYERS and Satoshi Kodaira had an albatross on the first hole in the opening round of the Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial.
English made his second last week by holing a 3-iron from 236 yards, joking to his caddie, ‘That is so much easier than putting. Why don’t we just do that every hole?”
Knox said he had one other double-eagle in his life, holing a 6-iron on the finishing hole at his home club in Scotland, Nairn Dunbar. He said he was a young teen at the time, and the shot allowed him to win his club competition.
“It was a shortish par-5, just under 500 yards,” Knox said. “But you couldn't see, you kind of hit up over a hill and there's a huge gully in the green and it went in. I actually looked out of bounds over the green before I even looked into the hole then, so that was nice to go in. I think I actually won the little tiny tournament by one shot, too. It's a one-day little like club event, a little junior medal.”
And where’s the medal that Knox won that day? “No idea,” he said, laughing.
Thursday, Knox took the ball with which he made a two and handed it to a youngster who was accompanying the group as a walking scorer.
“I signed another ball for him, and let him keep (the double-eagle ball). Maybe he’ll go play with it. Good on him.”