Gareth Bale hits the most unbelievable chip shot from cart-path on PGA Tour debut
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It's just 23 days since Gareth Bale announced his retirement from professional football and the Welsh wizard is already making a name for himself in another sport.
The former Real Madrid forward made his PGA Tour debut on Thursday alongside 156 pro golfers at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California – a four-day event that boasts a purse of $9 million (£7.3m).
Bale, who plays off an impressive handicap of two, must have been a tad nervous when he walked out at the revered Spyglass Hill ahead of his opening round.
But he scored a solid par on hole one, despite finding the bunker.
Wales. Golf. Retirement.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 2, 2023
Gareth Bale taps in for par on his first hole of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/xdUtigpUQz
Bale showed more nerves from the tee on hole two, when he fired over the green. In fact, the Welshman needed to hit his next shot from a nearby cart-path.
But he somehow recovered with a magnificent chip to get four feet from the hole. "This is where he's hitting his third shot on the second," the ESPN commentator said as he watched a replay. "He goes low and hits an amazing shot."
The co-commentator also praised the bump and run. "That is pretty tidy there. Holy cow!"
Here’s a fun video of Bale chipping it off the car path to get 4 feet off of the pin in today’s #PebbleBeachProAm.— Jerry Reynoso (@ReynosoReport) February 2, 2023
Beautiful drop with the club, letting it do the work. Looks a lot like his left foot. #LAFC #Madrid
Bale has impressed a number of top golfers in the past week or so.
US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick played nine holes with the former Wales international on Wednesday afternoon and was asked to give his thoughts on the experience afterwards.
"It was really cool," Fitzpatrick said. "First time I've officially met him. So that was obviously good to see him. Really, really enjoyed it.
"Asking him questions about football and he's asking questions about golf and stuff. We had a really enjoyable front nine and there's not many better places to do it than around here."
Bale also played nine holes with world number three Jon Rahm ahead of this week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Rahm, who has won four times in his last six worldwide starts, joined the Welshman in a fourball alongside ESPN golf analyst Michael Collins and social media star Tisha Alyn.
And the Spaniard was left stunned by Bale's ability on the Torrey Pines course.
"I told Gareth, 'you can't be so good at professional football and golf at the same time, it just doesn't seem fair'," he said.
"You can't be dedicated to one thing and have this much talent for golf, it's not fair in the slightest."
When asked about Bale's golfing prowess after Rahm's comments, Sheffield-born Fitzpatrick added: "I don't know what Jon said but yeah, he [Bale] is obviously a good player.
"He has obviously got a lot of talent. Yeah, he was impressive."
Although he is unlikely to top a leaderboard at any stage, the former Spurs forward has all the tools to make an impression.
When asked if Bale asked for any tips, Rahm said: "He didn't ask for anything, nor should he be asking, he's already good enough. He has no business being that good when he's a professional football player.
"When he can actually practise more, he's going to get a lot better.
"He got two strokes in the Pro-Am, which I think is already wrong. He should be giving strokes back to the rest of the amateurs because he is a very, very good player."