Birdies, schmirdies ... Karlsson celebrates his miraculous par save
By Jeff Babineau
NAPLES, Fla. - Robert Karlsson had plenty of birdies to talk about on Friday at Tiburon’s Black Course – he made eight – but the highlight of his day was his par 4 on the 16th hole. Karlsson sprayed a tee shot well right and was in jail, basically. His second shot caught a tree and bounded back to him.
For his third shot on the 414-yard hole – which features water down the left side of the fairway and front-right of the green – Karlsson had to keep a shot low under some tree limbs, but high enough to clear the lip of a cement cart path. From 155 yards out, and on the heels of three consecutive birdies, he really didn’t have much. (“It could have been a 6 quite easily, or a 7, because I had no way out,” he said.) Then he ripped a low hooded 8-iron under the limbs and over the water that pitched on the green and settled 25 feet from the hole. Of course he canned the par putt.
“If it would have clipped one of those branches, you would not be talking to me now,” he said. “I would have taken a 5, and not been complaining with a 6 ... I've played golf for 30 years, but I don't think I've made five pars better than that one.”