Justin Leonard's 147-yard eagle at TPC Sawgrass was so good it destroyed the hole

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, meanwhile, are in the hunt after a positive opening day.

Justin Leonard was 2-under after a flying start on the first hole.
Justin Leonard was 2-under after a flying start on the first hole.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

FORMER TEAM USA Ryder Cup star Justin Leonard is wrecking greens again. The 41-year-old recorded what excitable American commentators referred to as a ‘slam dunk eagle’ at The Players championship at Sawgrass today.

The Texan, who won The Open back in 1997 and sparked carnage at the 1999 Ryder Cup by sinking the almost winning putt against Jose Maria Olazabal, dropped in a beautiful iron approach on the first hole of his opening round. His shot whammed straight in and destroyed the hole in the process.

Play was held up for 10 minutes as officials ladled out a new hole on the first green.

Source: PGA TOUR/YouTube

Leonard’s 2-under start put him on track for a low-scoring start to proceedings at TPC. Fellow American Russell Henley currently leads the way on 7-under after firing nine birdies and a double bogey in a round of 65.

Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood are tied for second on 5-under while Graeme McDowell is two shots further back. The Portrush native recorded five birdies and two bogeys, on 14 and 15. Rory McIlroy is on 2-under after sinking four birdies on his way home.

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

PS: This is what Leonard and the US team got up to at Brookline in 1999.

Source: MrSupergolfer/YouTube

Rory’s a little bit cut up – but he’s ready for $10 million challenge at the Players

Pádraig Harrington suggests Shamrock flag compromise to Olympic golf stalemate

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

Read next: