Santiago Tarrio, shown playing in the 2023 Omega European Masters, shot 89 in the third round of the Irish Open. Stuart Franklin
Before we share the details of Spaniard Santiago Tarrio’s gruesome round of 17-over-par 89 in the Irish Open on Saturday — a nightmare that included a septuple-bogey 12 — let’s acknowledge his pain first.
The man is a professional golfer, 32 years old and winless on the DP World Tour, who in the previous two days at The K Club scored 70-72 to make the cut. We know that in no universe did he think he was going to go out on a sunny, benign day in Ireland, and over the course of four hours hit six balls into the water, including four in a row, and, on one hole, three-putt from 18 inches.
That would be an awful experience for any of us hacks, but in one of the circuit’s most beloved events, with Ryder Cuppers Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry in the field, to suffer such a complete mental and physical meltdown … it barely computes.
Roy McAvoy, not Rory McIlroy, could relate to Tarrio’s plight. The comparisons to “Tin Cup” were being made on Saturday, and, oddly, that’s not a big reach. Kevin Costner’s character ultimately put five balls in the water trying to reach the par-5 18th hole in a fictitious version of the US Open and made 12. Of course, McAvoy gets the number the Hollywood way when, with the last ball in his bag, he finally holes out his approach.
Looks like Spain's Santiago Tarrio suffered a bit of a "Tin Cup" moment on the par-five 16th, hitting his 2nd shot into the water and then 3 more from the drop zone on his way to a 12 and third round of 89 #HorizonIrishOpen pic.twitter.com/qU0ZVLXXUM
— Phil Casey (@pcaseysafc) September 9, 2023
Tarrio had no such luck. His 12 truly came the hard way.
Already eight over par, including two double bogeys, when he arrived at The K Club’s water-lined par-5 16th, Tarrio managed to drive into the fairway and was left with 237 yards. The next shot required a strong approach over water fronting the green to get home in two.
Thanks to the tour’s shot tracing, we have the gory details from there.
Tarrio’s first attempt found the water. He moved forward and dropped from 125 yards. Shouldn’t be a problem from there. That shot got wet.
Oh no. He dropped again. Wet.
Mind is blank. Hands are numb. Dropped again. Wet.
Finally — and barely — Tarrio hit land with his 10th shot. From there, he got down in two more strokes for a 12. The round didn’t get any better, as Tarrio made his third double of the day at 17 when he needed four shots from 14 yards to score a 6.
It’s all so relatable for any golfer trying to break 90 every round. For a pro? We’re just hoping Tarrio had a nice meal, and just went to bed.
And if the day doesn’t let him drift off, Tarrio could always look to a renowned countryman for solace. In the year after winning the 2017 Masters, Sergio Garcia rinsed five straight balls in water at Augusta National’s par-5 15th. HIs score: 13.