Philo Brathwaite Reflects on History-Making Shot and Living the Tournament Life
Philo Brathwaite was just trying to make birdie. He was trying to card his first-ever three on Hole 6 at Milo McIver State Park’s West course. The Par 5 twists and turns for a full 850-feet before presenting golfers with a shot into the green that is completely blind. Yet on this day, Philo nailed his second shot for a jaw dropping double eagle 2, also known as an albatross. Philo took the shot in stride and went on to finish second at the Beaver State Fling, Oregon’s premier disc golf event.
After the tournament, video began to spread across national media outlets. As Philo made the 15-hour drive back to his home in Tujunga, CA he got to enjoy an outpouring of response for what was clearly a magical moment for the 10-year PDGA veteran. We caught up with Philo once he got settled back home and had some time to reflect.
So how are you feeling after an amazing tournament finish, the albatross, the social media explosion, and the long trip home?
I am running on pure adrenaline at the moment. I feel great, but I am also pretty tired.
Obviously the big news of the weekend was “the shot” so can you set the record straight on which disc you threw?
It was a Star Destroyer. That one weighed 167g, I believe.
Clearly you couldn’t see the pin but did it enter your mind that it might have gone in?
Not really. I wasn’t trying to make it. All I wanted was to hopefully get a good look at three. I have never made a three on that hole before.
Describe the scene when you guys realized what had happened.
It was mind-blowing for sure. Everyone was very excited for me and that felt good. This was a little different energy-wise from an ace or something where you actually get to see it go in. It was a couple minutes later actually so my adrenaline levels were not as jacked up as they could have been.
So that was one shot that must have been filled with highlights as your second place finish might suggest. Give us a quick snapshot of your weekend overall.
I had more fun this weekend than I have had in a long time. There was a great vibe on every card I played on. Everyone was genuinely happy for each of the other members of the group. It was relaxing, and as a result I was able to play very well. That is the best I have ever played at Milo, for sure.
You are enjoying a very good season. What do you think has made the difference?
It has been a magical year for sure. It really just came down to me deciding to be more committed to my game than ever before. I am still working, but for most of my 10-year pro career I have worked a lot more hours at a regular job. I am definitely going for it this year.
You have also been notorious for being very hard on yourself. Has that changed at all in recent years?
Definitely. I always knew that I was beating myself up pretty good. It’s just a hard thing for me to stop doing. I always want to play well for me. And when I don’t perform well it bothers me. I have thrown away a lot of strokes simply by being way too hard on myself.
Were you just grinding too hard you think?
I don’t think so. I think I was just not giving myself enough credit. I haven’t always trusted that I could get it done down the stretch. I have let anxiety get the better of me at times and I have worked real hard to be better at letting things go. It has been a constant progression over the years of how to simply let go. Of bad shots, bad rounds, bad tournaments… I am getting better.