HELENA — Greg Jones recently performed one of golf’s rarest feats, an albatross, otherwise known as a double eagle.
“In golf, an albatross is something that most golfers will never have the fortune to make,” according to the golftips.golfweek.com web site. “This scoring term, which represents three strokes under par on a single hole, is extremely difficult to achieve.
“Several professional golfers have scored an albatross in a tour event, but the list remains relatively short compared with the number of holes collectively played by all the golfers in PGA Tour and LPGA Tour history.”
Several weeks ago at Bill Roberts Golf Course, Jones achieved his albatross on the Par 5, 477-yard hole No. 18, from the black tees.
“I hit a driver into a 25 mile per hour head wind, to about 195 out. Then I hit my 4 hybrid from there, which landed about 5 yards on the green and rolled straight towards the pin,” the former Carroll College golfer recounted. “There was a lot of cotton on the green, so no one actually saw it go in, my group just thought it was close.”
Among the foursome with Jones that day were Todd Waterman, Roy Murphy and Gary Wright.
“I thought maybe I saw it go in, and when we got to about 75 yards out, we only saw three balls on the green. So that’s when we really started thinking it actually did go in,” recalled Jones, who posted a 75 for the round.
“I looked in the hole, and there it was.”
Jones, a Kalispell native, played for the Saints from 2014-18. Normally the team’s No. 4 or 5 man, his best effort took place his senior year at the 2018 Frontier Conference championships, when he shared the runner-up slot with three others while leading Carroll to a fourth-place showing.
Jones opened the league championships in Tempe, Arizona, with a tourney-leading 2-under 70, followed by rounds of 77 and 74, and wound up with a 5-over par 221.
“Greg was a guy with a very even keel, not easily rattled and never got too high or too low,” former Carroll coach Ben MacIntyre said. “I thought he was at his best on tougher golf courses.
“He was very crafty getting up and down when he missed greens, he saved a lot of pars.”
Jones’ lifetime PRs to date consist of 31 (5 under) for nine holes and 65 (7 under) for 18.
In talking to multiple longtime Bill Roberts golfers, just a handful have achieved the feat on a Par 5 at BRGC: Gene Fehlig, Doug Olson (twice), Tyler Nettleton and Jones.
Former club pro Scott Longenecker turned the trick in Las Vegas once, and several others (including Tom Tillo) have achieved double eagles on Par 4 holes at Billy Bob’s.
Jones said that neither he nor any other player in the foursome that day had ever witnessed an albatross.
“Along with my second at the Frontier Conference championships at ASU Karsten my senior year, this albatross is definitely up there,” said Jones, when asked to name his career highlights.