The ace was only the fifth on the hole in tournament history and the first of McCarthy’s PGA Tour career.
And then, just a few hours later, Brendan Todd also rolled in his first hole-in-one of his PGA Tour career.
The American completed the achievement at the par-3 eighth with a 213-yard effort with his 5-wood. It was the first hole-in-one at the eighth since Michael Thompson’s ace during the opening round of the 2013 contest.
For McCarthy, who had two practice hole-in-ones but no competitive ones, the ace was the crowning moment on an excellent round which catapulted him into contention at the PGA Tour’s flagship event.
“I just had a really good number today to that pin. It was a perfect 8-iron for me, and just stepped up there and executed the shot. Got a little lucky to go in.”
He came into this week having missed six of his last eight cuts, but his second-round 69 and a 6-under total has him among the leaders.
Lee Westwood hit a bogey-free 6-under 66 to move into the halfway lead on Friday with a 9-under score, one ahead of compatriot Matt Fitzpatrick.
Although the odds of professional golfers hitting a hole-in-one are significantly higher than your average player, they may still go their entire career without one.
The odds of a tour player hitting a hole-in-one are 3,000 to 1, while for average players they are 12,000 to 1, according to the National Hole-in-One Registry,