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BetCast Spotlight: Ace history on 16 at WMPO

by Will Gray
Updated On: February 10, 2021, 3:49 pm ET

It's the most recognizable hole at TPC Scottsdale, and perhaps one of the most recognizable on the PGA Tour.

During the other 51 weeks of the year, the 16th on the Stadium Course doesn't seem too imposing: no water in sight, and measuring just 163 yards from the tips. But during tournament week, it becomes the place to see and be seen in Scottsdale and has played host to a number of memorable shots in recent years.

With pros firing away these days with a wedge or 9-iron in hand, there of course have been aces during competition. But perhaps not as many as you might expect - despite playing host to the WMPO since 1987, there have only been a total of nine holes-in-one on No. 16 during tournament play (and only two since 2003).

This week marks the debut of NBC Sports Edge BetCast, a fully betting-centric second-screen experience airing on Peacock every round with live odds powered by PointsBet Sportsbook. So with that in mind let's take a look back at the hole-in-one history on the short 16th, which includes one of Tiger Woods' most memorable shots:

1. Hal Sutton, 1988

The first ace on the 16th came in the course's second year of hosting the event, courtesy of a major champion. Sutton won the 1983 PGA in addition to a pair of Players titles, and he had won in Phoenix two years prior. His hole-in-one came during the third round and was a highlight on an otherwise difficult day, as he signed for a 3-over 74. Sutton ultimately tied for 26th and finished the week 12 shots behind eventual champ Sandy Lyle.

2. Brad Bryant, 1990

Bryant didn't win his lone Tour title until 1995, but he joined Sutton on the list of perfect shots on No. 16 during the opening round in 1990. Bryant has two distinctions on this list: he's the only player to make his ace in the opening round, and he's also the only one who went on to miss the cut despite the hole-in-one. His scores of 71-74 left him two shots shy of a weekend tee time.

3. David Edwards, 1990

Edwards won four times on Tour between 1980-93, and like Sutton he made his hole-in-one during the third round. He made his ace just two days after Bryant, went on to shoot a 70 in the third round and finished the week in a tie for 46th.

4. Jay Delsing, 1991

Delsing had four straight rounds in the 60s, thanks in large part to an ace during the third round with a 9-iron. That helped him to a Saturday 68 which he sandwiched with three other rounds of 69. Delsing ended up the week in a tie for 32nd, seven shots behind winner Nolan Henke. Hospitality suites would go up on No. 16 for the first time the following year, with 11 corporate boxes built around the hole.

5. Tiger Woods, 1997

It remains one of the most-replayed shots of Woods' career. Months before he would win his first major title at the Masters, he brought the crowd to its feet and raised the roof after jarring his tee shot on two hops. While the 16th didn't have the same infrastructure it currently does, the Woods ace is often viewed as a turning point in transforming the hole from a crowded par-3 into an iconic Tour landmark. Woods ended up tied for 18th during a week when Steve Jones won by a whopping 11 shots. Surprisingly, Woods hasn't made a hole-in-one during stroke-play competition on Tour since.



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6. Steve Stricker, 1997

One day after Woods brought the house down, Stricker made an ace of his own on the very same hole. While the yardage wasn't exactly the same, the club difference sheds light on the edge over the field enjoyed by an up-and-coming Woods: while Tiger made his ace with a 9-iron, Stricker's was with a 6-iron. The mild-mannered veteran otherwise struggled in the round, shooting a final-round 75 to finish the week T-62.

7. Mike Sposa, 2002

Another five years passed before an ace was recorded on the 16th, this time by a journeyman who bounced between the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour for much of his career. Sposa never won on the biggest level, but he did notch a pretty impressive achievement when he holed a 7-iron during a 66 in the second round. It was his lowest round of the week by four shots, as Sposa went on to a T-45 finish.

8. Jarrod Lyle, 2011

Lyle once described the 16th as "possibly the scariest tee shot in golf," but he showed no signs of fear a decade ago when he holed an 8-iron from 150 yards during the second round. Lyle triumphantly threw his hands in the air and led a lengthy celebration with nearby fans, shooting a 67 and ultimately finishing T-62 that week. It was the first ace since the hole became completely surrounded by grandstands and hospitality and remained a career highlight for the affable Aussie, who sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2018 at the age of 36.

9. Francesco Molinari, 2015

It's been six years since Molinari's ace during the second round, but it remains the most recent on the list. The Italian was three years away from lifting the claret jug but he set off a raucous celebration after holing a pitching wedge from 133 yards. Fans threw beers high in the air in celebration as Molinari soaked up the atmosphere, both literally and figuratively. The ace helped him to a 64, his only sub-70 round of the week, as Molinari tied for 22nd.

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Will Gray

Will Gray joined Golf Channel in 2007 and currently serves as a staff writer for GolfChannel.com. Gray has been covering fantasy golf since 2012 and is a regular contributor to the Golf Central blog and covers several PGA Tour events each year. He's also a regular contributor to several digital properties on GolfChannel.com, including Stat Man, On the Clock, Fantasy Central, Grill Room and the Monday Scramble podcast.