The last time we played around with a headline like this, it was when Jon Rahm whiffed on a one-footer at the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational. We were quickly reminded by Golf Digest legend Guy Yocom that Hale Irwin’s whiff at the 1983 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale was actually the shortest miss in golf history. Of course, it’s impossible to find video of Irwin’s whiff, so we’ll just have to take Guy’s word for it.
In our humble opinion, neither Rahm nor Irwin have anything on Korn Ferry Tour pro Tom Whitney, who missed what has to be the shortest putt in the history of televised golf. That’s a moniker we’re comfortable putting on this one. The shortest miss in the history of televised golf. Apologies to the Irwin stans out there:
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) July 28, 2023
My goodness. That could not have been more than three or four inches. It definitely was not nine inches as our old friend Dan Rapaport surmised. But who knows. The Korn Ferry Tour does not have the proper shot tracker technology, so we’re left to guess. We’re saying maybe four inches. Brutal.
You know it’s really, really bad when you notice that Whitney was reaching down into the hole to grab his ball before he even realised it violently lipped out and nearly hit him in his own foot, which, under the new rules, could have been deemed accidental and would not be a penalty. We doubt that would have made Whitney feel any better had it happened, though.
Another angle shows just how nonchalantly Whitney hit the short par-saver after missing on the low side for birdie:
You absolutely HATE to see that. One of the shortest missed putts EVER.
— Fore Play (@ForePlayPod) July 28, 2023
A good reminder that those three-footers you scoop up on the weekend with your buddies are not “gimmes” in the real world. It’s rattle bottom at the pro level. Cruel, cruel sport. Despite the missed shorty, Whitney still shot a second-round 67 to reach 10-under through two rounds, which has him in a tie for 15th. He’s just three off the lead of Ryan McCormick at the NV5 Invitational.