, Port Arthur, Texas

September 4, 2012

Bob Briggs defies odds with second double eagle

Bob West
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Odds of making what is known as either a double eagle or albatross — take your pick of the terminology — are off-the-charts astronomical. Back in April, after Cricket Owens of Port Neches authored one at Babe Zaharias, I stumbled across a PGA Tour stat showing there had been 127 aces in tour tournaments over the past five years, compared to a mere 17 double eagles.

     For the average player, I have to think the discrepancy is even wider than the 7.5 to 1. A bad player can luck up into an ace. That doesn’t happen on double eagles. So what would people who compute the odds have to say about Bob Briggs?

    The Port Neches resident scored his second double eagle in less than two years last week on the 400-yard, par 5, 9th hole at The Patch. Playing in the weekly Senior Game, Briggs pured a 3-wood from 199 yards into a 30 mile-per-hour wind kicked up by Hurricane Issac.

    He could tell the shot was right at the pin, but didn’t see where the ball stopped. His brother, Richard, told him the shot was right by the cup. His other playing partners — E.T. Robicheaux and Charles Scott — told him the same thing. But when they got to the green, there was no ball in sight.

    “I knew I’d hit it really well and figured it must have rolled over the green,” said Briggs. “So I grabbed a couple of wedges and went looking for the ball behind the green. While Briggs looking, his brother peeked into the cup. That’s where the ball was hiding.

    Unlike 99.999999 percent of a all golfers who ever get to enter a double eagle on their scorecard, Briggs knew exactly how to react. After all, he’d recorded an albatross on Nov. 17, 2010 on the par 5, 2nd at Belle Oaks. That one came with a 5-wood from 200 yards.

    Now here’s where things start to get really weird. A couple of days after making that first double eagle, Briggs got to checking web sites to see if there was some sort of double-eagle club where he could register. He found one, signed up and waited for a response. Nobody ever got back to him.

    Well, nobody responded until two days ago. Less than a week after striking for the second time, Briggs got an e-mail about registering his first double eagle. Now he’s got two of them to register.