All golfers have one. A moment in their golf career, be it major champion or weekend warrior, that sits above all others as favourite.
Queenslander Jake McLeod is the latest in Golf Australia magazine’s series of golfers, both professional and amateur to share his favourite moment in the game.
With a record including a maiden pro win at the 2018 NSW Open, where he recorded a course record 62 third round, a top-5 at his national open and an impressive late showing to retain his European Tour card at the end of 2019, the 25-year-old is certainly not short of career highlights.
The top of McLeod’s list though, unsurprisingly, is his major championship debut and an extremely special hole during practice round with a past champion.
“I played a hole with Tiger during a practice round at that tournament as well, so that was pretty cool too." - Jake McLeod.
“My favourite moment is probably walking down the stairs on to the first tee at the British Open in 2019, through the hallway on to the first tee,” former PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit winner Jake McLeod told Golf Australia magazine.
“I reckon that is up there. I can remember that vividly, that was pretty special.
“I played a hole with Tiger during a practice round at that tournament as well, so that was pretty cool too.
“I have always dreamed of playing in the majors, and to experience my first one was cool and it lived up to everything I thought it would be, and more.
“It was a completely different feeling to every other event I have ever played. Just the general setup and the people, it was sold out and up in Northern Ireland there they love golf, it was such a friendly, energetic crowd, it was cool.
“I was actually surprised, I was definitely nervous on the first tee, but I wasn’t working myself up like I have in the past. So, I was actually quite happy with how it was, it was obviously a different feeling, but I didn’t get more nervous than I would at a normal event, I think maybe because they put the tee up a little on the Thursday and it was straight down wind, so I couldn’t really hit it off line (laughing). It was like a 4- or 5-iron to lay-up short of the trap, so it wasn’t too difficult a shot. I think if it was a driver I would have been a bit more scared for sure.
“Playing that hole with Tiger just went super quick, but I was kind of zoned out of what I was doing and just watching him. I was up on the green and he was putting around and I was just watching him putt, because I have always loved his putting. It was pretty cool.
“He actually made a joke on the first tee, when myself and Dimi Papadatos joined up with him.
“My coach Lee was caddying for me at the time. Tiger was on the left of the tee, I was in the middle and Lee was on the right. Lee said to me ‘Do you have any sunscreen in the bag?’ and I said ‘No’. Tiger chimed in and said ‘Sunscreen, I haven’t had to put that on in 40 years.’
“It was all pretty cool, a very cool experience for sure.”
Stay tuned to the Golf Australia magazine website for more golfers' favourite moments in the game.