Cape Town - Masters champion Sergio Garcia thrilled the crowd assembled at the famed 17th hole island green at TPC Sawgrass in Thursday's opening round of the Players Championship.
Garcia, playing in his first tournament since his first Major at Augusta on April 9, completed the "perfect fluke", holing his tee shot to become just the eighth player to do so in Players Championship history.
"I hit a good shot. But it was 3 yards past the pin," Garcia said.
"It could have done anything. It could have stayed there, gone farther. It was nice that it spun back into the hole. And I needed it after the start that I had. I turned a poor round into a decent round."
Garcia, who used a 52-degree wedge from 123 yards, said it was his 12th career hole-in-one and fifth in competition.
The eagle helped Garcia to an opening 1-over par, 73, to lie six shots adrift of joint leaders, American William McGirt and Canada's Mackenzie Hughes.