As soon as Ahmad Rashad realised he had made a hole-in-one on the 15th at Kingsbarns, he knew the one person he wanted to tell about it – Tiger Woods. Sometimes it helps to have the greatest player of the modern era on speed dial.
“The first thing I did was text Tiger!” said a delighted Rashad after completing his round. “He is a dear friend of mine and I wanted to let him know. He got back straight away – all he said was: ‘Well, I guess that means you’re buying.”
With the wind whipping up and the North Sea only a few metres to his right, Rashad lined up his shot. “It was 176-yards. I took my 7-iron out because of how windy it was,” he said. “I’ve played the hole before and didn’t hit it far enough, but this time I hit it right at the pin. It took one bounce and went in, but I wasn’t sure from where I was.
“Then everyone went crazy!”
Rashad played in the NFL Pro Bowl four times in the 1970s and 80s and is one of the greatest wide receivers in the history of the Minnesota Vikings. He executed one of the most celebrated plays in America Football when he caught a last-second, Hail Mary pass to take the Vikings to the 1980 play-offs.
After his athletic career he became a leading broadcaster, crossing over to focus mainly on the NBA.
“This might be the highlight of my sporting career,” he said. “And that’s saying something!”
Rashad was playing at Kingsbarns with his pro partner Kristoffer Broberg and partly due to those heroics on 15, the pair will start the final round at the Old Course only four shots behind the joint leaders in the Team Championship.
So, how will the man of the hour be celebrating? “I celebrate life every day!” he said. “I’ve just been so happy to be here, I had a really good day and it’s been great to have everyone here stopping me to say ‘hey, great hole-in-one!’”