How long would it take for robots to match the abilities of star athletes?
Perhaps not too long ... in golf, at least.
During the opening round of this year's Waste Management Phoenix Open tournament this week, a robot scored a hole-in-one on the 16th hole. Yes, a robot. Really.
To drive perspective into the shot, Tiger Woods sank a hole-in-one on the same hole of the same course of the same PGA (Professional Golfers' Association) Tour tournament in 1997, and despite his recent slumping years, it's common knowledge that he's one of the greatest golfers of all time.
Just like when Woods sank the incredible shot close to 20 years ago, fans at the Scottsdale Stadium Course went into a high-fiving, champagne-spraying frenzy at the scene of the Ldric the Golf Robot calmly sinking a hole-in-one rather effortlessly on the 16th hole.
In a way, it's fitting that the Ldric Golf Robot matched Woods' feat, considering the robot was named after Tiger's actual first name, Eldrick.
Golf Digest actually describes the impressive robot as a "stone-cold killer on the course" and "the go-to device for equipment and ball-testing in the golf industry."
It adds: "Not only is its swing sound and fluid, but it can replicate hooks, slices and other flaws inherent to the average golfer."
Ldric was created by Gene Parente, owner of Golf Laboratories Inc.