Ian Poulter admitted he had been “beyond lucky” after holing an extraordinary eagle putt on day one of the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews.
Poulter’s drive on the par-four ninth hole on the Old Course finished just right of the green, 54 yards away from the pin.
Simply getting down in two would have been a highly-creditable achievement, but the Ryder Cup star had other ideas and delighted the spectators behind the green by holing for what he described as a “Brucie bonus”.
Asked if he had bothered to read the line of the putt from so far away, Poulter said: “I did bizarrely. I kind of hit it two cups out to the right.
“I knew it might wander a hair right to left through the middle of the putt. Anything inside six feet (from that distance) is a hell of a putt. So for it to drop is beyond lucky.”
At 162 feet, Poulter’s effort is believed to be a record for a televised putt in Britain, narrowly beating one of 159 feet by former swimming star Michael Phelps in the Dunhill Links Championship in 2013.
According to the Guinness World Records, the “longest golf putt, non-tournament” was holed from 395 feet by YouTube star Brett Stanford on a course in Western Australia in 2017.
The previous record of 375 feet was set in 2001 by Fergus Muir on the Eden Course at St Andrews.
Seeing his two playing partners miss the fifth green with their tee shots, Muir decided to tee off with his 80-year-old, hickory-shafted putter from 125 yards and made the putt for a hole-in-one.