San Francisco, CA – Nick Watney got off to a tough start Thursday at the U.S. Open, but that all changed on the 17th hole at The Olympic Club.
Hitting an iron from the fairway, Watney's second shot to the par-five landed on the green and tracked into the hole for double-eagle.
It moved Watney to even-par through his first nine holes.
Watney traded a bogey for a birdie on Nos. 9 and 10 -- players are starting on the first and ninth holes this week -- and fell into black figures with bogeys on 12 and 13. He dropped another stroke on the 16th to slide to plus-three.
The 31-year-old American, who missed the cut in three of his previous five U.S. Open starts, then holed his second on No. 17 to jump back to even-par.
It was the third double-eagle in U.S. Open history, the other two coming from Shaun Micheel at Pebble Beach and T.C. Chen at Oakland Hills.
It was also the second albatross this year in a major. Louis Oosthuizen holed his second shot on the par-five second in the final round of the Masters, helping him get into a playoff with Bubba Watson, who went on his win his first major.
This is Watney's 15th straight major. He finished seventh at the Masters and British Open in 2010 and his best finish at the U.S. Open was a share of 60th in 2008 at Torrey Pines.