There are unlucky golf shots, the ones that trickle into a bunker or catch a bad bounce near the green, and then there is the tee shot Mark James hit at the 2018 Senior British Open on Thursday.
Playing the famous 17th hole at the Old Course at St. Andrews, the 64-year-old English golfer blasted his tee shot at just the wrong time. The ball hit a seagull in mid-air, ricochetted toward the Old Course Hotel and went out of bounds.
The Road Hole has seen some crazy things in professional golf over the years, but this is definitely a first.
Unfortunate is an understatement. Edwards, who is from Manchester, England, was two-over and simply looking to put the finishing touches on his first round of the Senior Open Championship. Instead, it turned into a disaster with hitting the bird.
The status of the seagull is unknown.
After the ball went out of bounds, James was forced to re-tee on the tough par-4. He eventually made a triple-bogey 7 on the hole and finished the round with a five-over 77.
Kirk Triplet and Thawaorn Wiratchant fired a seven-under 65 to hold the lead after 18 holes at the historic links course.
James has enjoyed a nice career on the European Tour with 18 wins, while also winning twice on the European Senior Tour, three times on the PGA Tour Champions Tour and two other wins.
He was the captain for Europe in the 1999 Ryder Cup and tied for third in the 1981 The Open Championship.
James also finished tied for 31st in the 1999 PGA Championship and missed the cut in his three other major appearances; the 1980 Masters Tournament, and the U.S. Open in 1990 and 1996.
There have been countless rounds in James’ life, but it would be hard to find a moment like this.
A simple tee shot destined for the fairway resulted in a bird striking and tough triple bogey.
Whether he makes the cut or not, this is a priceless story to share in the clubhouse.
Thank goodness the camera crew caught this for the rest of us.