The fireworks started a day early this week for Team Europe at the Ryder Cup, with Viktor Hovland making an ace on the par-4 fifth hole at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.
Hovland stepped up to the reachable 302-yard hole with 3-wood in hand when his tee shot pitched up the front of the green and tracked right into the hole.
Hovland watched his ball with satisfaction before it reached the flagstick and dropped, erupting alongside teammates Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Justin Rose and Ludvig Aberg.
There are a few drivable par 4s in the Marco Simone layout, with the fifth being one of the more dangerous, with a green protected by water along the left side.
Hovland has been one of the most reliable drivers of the golf ball this season on his way to winning the final two FedExCup Playoffs events to claim the season-long prize. The Norwegian star ranked fifth on TOUR in Total Driving, seventh in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and 28th in Driving Accuracy this past season.
The rare par-4 ace has only been accomplished once in the history of the PGA TOUR, claimed by Andrew Magee at the 2001 WM Phoenix Open. The Ryder Cup itself has seen six aces: Peter Butler in 1973, Nick Faldo in 1993, Costantino Rocca and Howard Clark in 1995, as well as Paul Casey and Scott Verplank in 2006.
A strike of this caliber is sure to inspire confidence for Hovland and the European Team ahead of the first official tee shot Thursday morning.
Source : PGA Tour