Mid-amateurs celebrate a feast of aces

Image courtesy AFP

Image courtesy AFP

According to the National Hole-in-One Registry, the average hacker has a 12,000 to one chance of making a hole-in-one during his career.

Most golfers go a lifetime without an ace, yet five men defied these odds at the South African Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial at Middelburg Country Club to set a national record for the South African Golf Association this month.

Daniel Janse Van Vuuren started the fireworks with an ace at the par-three 11th in the third round.

“I hit an eight-iron from 153 metres in my singles game,” the North West golfer said.

“To watch the ball pitch and disappear down the hole was an out-of-this-world experience. It was my first ace, and it came in very handy, because I beat Weyers van Vuuren from Western Province 4&3.

“The next day three more guys got holes-in-one and another one was recorded on the Friday. It’s pretty cool to know that I am part of a national record in South African golfing history.”

The trend continued on day four with Sunil Pillay, Michael Holden and Gerlou Roux raking in the aces.

Border’s Pillay holed out from 128 metres at the 13th.

“I was playing in the foursomes with my brother, Udesh, against Gauteng North,” he said.

“I hit a pitching wedge and the ball pitched two meters behind the flag, spun back and dropped in the hole. All I could think of was ‘thank goodness, we don’t have to putt’.

“Udesh was really thrilled, because we won the game 3&2. The next day, Marius Nel from Free State scored a hole-in-one against him in the singles.

Holden described his tee shot into the par-three third as the best shot in his 30-year career.

“I struck a five-iron absolutely perfectly,” the Eastern Province golfer said.

“They say to make an ace, you need some luck. I’m come close in the past, but I had to wait 30 years for the perfect shot.”

If a hole-in-one is just good fortune, Lady Luck lives in Roux’s back pocket.

The Western Province amateur celebrated his eighth career ace when he holed a five-iron from 204 metres at the par-three 11th in the singles.

“This was undoubtedly the most memorable one of the lot. It was unbelievable to see five guys hole out in one tournament. It is quite incredible to be part of something so unique and historical.”

Nel from Free State not only completed the straight flush in the final round singles, but ensured that every par-three at the Mpumalanga course was covered during the event.

Nel flew a perfectly-timed eight-iron from 176 metres into the green at the sixth and watched the ball hit the target and disappear down the hole.

“This was my first hole-in-one since I started playing in 2012,” Nel said.

“It was really fantastic to score an ace during the Mid-Am IPT and to be part of the record, but it was even better to hole out on 1-up with three to play against Border.”

The most aces recorded in amateur golf in South Africa was five at Benoni Lake Golf Club in 1997, however, this was in social golf.

– Sapa




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