It has not been Ryan Brehm’s year, and that’s putting it lightly. If you remove his one good week, a T-14 at the Honda Classic, you’re left with 14 missed cuts in 16 starts. Not much has gone right for the reigning Puerto Rico Open champion.
The beauty of golf, though, is that it can flip on a literal dime, which appears to be exactly what happened for Brehm on Thursday at the Valspar Championship. The 36-year-old made birdie on the par-5 first at Innisbrook to begin his round, then sprinkled in three more against just one bogey over his next 15 holes. At three under on the 17th tee, he then jumped to five under with a hole-in-one, the first of his career on the PGA Tour:
What’s particularly funny about this one is it sounds like Brehm didn’t love it. “CARRY!” you’ll hear him say as the ball sails toward the green, Brehm hoping it would get all the way to the front edge. It ended up carrying all the way to the bottom of the cup.
“It kind of surprised me when I saw it go in the hole, honestly,” Brehm said afterward. “But we got a good reaction. It was a lot of fun. I was really just trying to cover the front edge of the green, and we had the wind that was down off of the right. I think we had 189 to cover the front edge and it probably flew almost 200 yards. So it was pretty fun to see that thing trickle in.”
Now here comes the truly crazy part. While speaking with the media, Brehm revealed that his ace wasn’t even the rarest feat he accomplished on the Copperhead Course this week. The truly rare one came during Monday’s Pro-Am.
“My wife and I talk about it all the time. I’m glad she was there because she’s like, ‘I’ve never seen you have one,” he said. “And ironically, in the Monday Pro-Am, I rinsed one on 13 for my first shot, grabbed a different club, teed it up, and jarred it for a par.
“So it must be something about this week.”
We’d say so. A hole-in-three and a hole-in-one in the span of four days might just mean it’s your week. The first-round 66, which has him tied for the lead, certainly helps his it-might-be-my-week case, too.