One of the perks of being a high-level pro golfer is having hordes of people watching you play, including in massive grandstands around tees and greens. Not only is having the adoring attention of thousands nice, an added perk is that all of those people and all of that infrastructure can stop the momentum of a terrible shot.
George Coetzee got the full benefit of the grandstands on Saturday on the final hole of the European Tour’s Volvo China Open.
Hitting an iron for his second shot into the par-5 finisher, the South African pulled his shot poorly. However, it wasn’t so poor that it wasn’t able to ricochet off the grandstands to the left of the green. After a loud, bellowing sound, the ball shot back to the right, onto the green and rolled to 6 feet to set up a closing eagle.
Coetzee could do nothing but laugh at the shot and the outcome.
“It’s always nice to get some luck and nice bounces,” he said.
“It certainly wasn’t the best of irons and I needed the help. I certainly got it and a few more of those tomorrow would be great.”
Coetzee wasn’t the only South African to benefit from the grandstands. Tournament leader Dylan Frittelli also found the grandstands with his second to the 18th at Topwin Golf and Country Club, playing some pinball before also landing on the green.
And another one…
Hitting the 18th grandstand has paid off today. pic.twitter.com/elpyHCOPxm
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) April 29, 2017
Frittelli is at 19 under through three rounds and three clear of Pablo Larrazabal in search of his first European Tour win.