Gareth Bale has scored some iconic goals during his illustrious career as a footballer, none more so than his wonderful solo goal vs Barcelona in the 2014 Copa Del Rey final or his bicycle kick against Liverpool to put Real Madrid 2-1 to the good in the 2018 Champions League final.
But the former Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid winger might have trumped those goals with another fabulous individual effort, this time on the golf course and at Spyglass Hill no less!
Bale is playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week and in the second hole of his first round he made one of the up and downs of the week as he chipped and putted from off the cart path from well below the green.
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His stabbing effort rolled up the greenside slope to four-feet and the Welshman sunk the putt to firmly leave his mark on the event and steal the spotlight from PGA Tour pro Joseph Bramlett.
“I was more worried how I was there in the first place,” Bale laughed. “But, yeah, I guess a lot of amateurs find themselves out of position. Yeah, it was a great shot. Just tried to put it into the bank and hope for the best, like most amateurs do. It was nice to see it roll up nice and close.
“Yeah, he was pretty much in for par so I was like, Oh, I’ll pick it up. He made me putt it because he’s like, It’s going to be the greatest up-and-down. So I finished it off nicely. It was a great shot. I can’t really say much more.
“I couldn’t play it proper because there was a curb in front of me. In my practice swing I hit the curb. So I was like I have to really like dig it. I put it back in my stance and hit it into the bank. So of course there was a lot of luck involved, don’t get me wrong. But, yeah, the shot that I guess I tried to play and you need a bit of luck along the way.
“That’s the worrying thing. I didn’t realize it was on a bit of a side slope and just kind of pushed it. The wind took it a bit more. It kicked off the bank on the side of the green and ended there. But amateurs are used to being there, so we’ve a lot more practice than the pros in those positions.
“It’s on TV, so I guess it’s right up there. I think straight away it was, I asked the cameraman, I was like, I walked up and said, Did you get that? He was like, I did. And I was like, Yes. It was a good laugh,” smiled the five-time Champions League winner.
Bale has played in front of packed houses at the Bernabeu, Nou Camp, Wanda Metropolitano and Wembley among others scoring goals in El Clasico’s, North London derbies, Champions League finals and the European Championship and World Cup.
But even Wales’ record goalscorer felt the first tee nerves on Thursday.
“I think every amateur will tell you, even though we’re used to playing in front of 80,000 or more live on TV, it’s a completely different sport. Like I said, outside your comfort zone and something that’s just different. It’s a cool experience. Lucky that I hit one of my best shots down the first fairway, which was nice.
“No, just trying to enjoy the day. Trying to play as good as I can. Try and help Joseph in terms of the team event. Get out of his way when he needs to be serious to finish his putt. Just an enjoyable experience.
“Yeah, it’s mind blowing how good this tournament is set up. The organizers deserve all the credit, because it is run impeccably and it’s a great laugh.”