26 Apr 2020

Where are they now: Jeff Overton

BOOM, BABY! It’s been ten years since The Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor produced a veritable feast of bloopers and memorable moments.

Bloopers came mostly courtesy of the United States with their not-fit-for-purpose waterproofs at one of the wettest Ryder Cups in history and Captain Corey Pavin forgetting to introduce Stewart Cink at the opening ceremony.

The highlights stemmed mostly from Team Europe’s play as they came from behind to win by the narrowest of margins, with Graeme McDowell’s tension-filled last-gasp point sealing the deal in front of thousands of fans on the 17th green.

But perhaps the most memorable – and hilarious – moment was the celebration of unheralded debutant Jeff Overton after he holed out from the fairway during a fourballs match in the third session.

Early on in his encounter alongside Bubba Watson against Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez, the then 27-year-old expertly span his ball back into the cup to win the hole and his emotions boiled over as he hollered “BOOM, BABY!” at the top of his lungs.

You can see the shot, and subsequent celebrations below.

The American duo went on to lose that match 2-down, but the pair did win a point against Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington and Overton won his singles tie against Ross Fisher as the US came up just short.

The Indiana native wrote a little bit of history by becoming the first player in US Ryder Cup history to qualify for a Ryder Cup team without previously winning on the PGA Tour, and he was joined by another winless player in wildcard selection Rickie Fowler.

Fowler has since gone on to become one of the most recognisable players in the game with five PGA Tour wins, a string of near misses in the Majors and four Ryder Cup appearances.

Downward trajectory

And while Overton’s Ryder Cup playing partner Watson became a two-times Masters champion, the career trajectory of the former Walker Cup star went in the opposite direction.

Between 2011 and 2015 Overton could only muster 16 top tens. Prior to that he had collected $12m in prize money, with three runner-up finishes in 2010 helping him earn a Ryder Cup berth.

In 2017 Overton suffered a life-threatening spine infection while undergoing surgery on a herniated disc in his back, and despite recovering after spending almost a month in hospital he is yet to tee it up at a World Ranking counting event.

The 36-year-old’s last appearance on the PGA Tour came at that year’s Honda Classic where he missed the cut.

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