Four neat stories that prove golf is indeed a wonderful game

A UNIQUE ACE!: It is every golfer’s dream. If you have ever played this game, recording a hole-in-one is as good as it gets. Each one has its own story, but some are more unique than others.

This past week Dutch Edeburn aced a hole at Seneca Hills Golf Course that qualifies in the “that’s different” category. You see, he got his ace on a par 4! Most par 4’s are not reachable from the tee. There are a few in the area however, that can be driven with a big tee shot. The 11th at Seneca Hills is one of those holes.

Of course reaching the green is one thing — holing it is quite another. Edeburn used his three-wood to ace the 211 yard hole. From the senior tees the 11th is indeed short, but how many people can tell anyone that listens that they aced a par 4?

Now the silliest tradition in golf is the person who gets the hole-in-one has to buy the drinks at the end of the round. Dutch was playing with a couple of buddies of mine and perhaps they made an exception to this rule. At the very least you would think that they might have suggested that a “Dutch” treat would be applicable.

My guess is that it was Dutch’s treat!

FIVE-TIME CHAMP! Justin Thomas won the Dell Technologies Championship last weekend making him a five time PGA Tour winner in 2017. When you throw in a major championship, Thomas has a leg up on player of the year honors. It is not a given however, as a couple of others have four wins and a chance at winning the FedEx Championship.

Jordan Spieth is in that category — four wins including a major — and could still be a factor in the voting. If Thomas has an edge it might just be the round he shot in the Sony Open in January. Not every golfer can list a 59 on his resume.

Perhaps the coolest part of his 59 was the fact that he was playing with Jordan Spieth who seemed happier with his friend’s success than Thomas himself!

FROM RELIEF TO RELIEF! It had been more than three years since Stacy Lewis had reached the winner’s circle on the LPGA Tour. Her last title was in June of 2014. She had come close several times and the stress of wondering if she would ever win again was mounting.

The only way things would get better would be to finally accept a trophy again. That would provide instant relief. Lewis realized however that her lack of winning was not the most important thing in the world right now. Hurricane Harvey had devastated southeast Texas including the Houston metro area.

Lewis was playing on tour at the Cambia Portland Classic last week and Texas was on her mind. She grew up outside the Houston area and wanted to help her neighbors. On Wednesday she announced that her entire check in the tournament would be donated to Hurricane Harvey Relief.

Lewis then went out and ended her victory draught. True to her word, the winner’s check of $195,000 went to the relief effort. I’m sure Stacy Lewis was relieved to finally get back to the winner’s circle. I’m also sure that she was elated that her relief led to a greater relief for the thousands facing a mammoth rebuilding task.

BACK ON COURSE!: My traveling group stayed close to home this week as Fostoria Country Club was the destination. The day marked the return of one of our regulars who had been sidelined for more than a month with some health issues.

Since I was part of the returnee’s foursome, I thought it might be interesting to critique the golfer’s game after the long layoff. To protect the golfer’s privacy I will call him Riccardo Shillyshally. And yes I do watch too many Big Bang Theory reruns!

Shillyshally came to the course with a smile on his face. He was obviously thrilled to be back, but what kind of game would he display? Let’s take a look.

Shillyshally played army golf off the tee. You know — left, right, left… He only hit three fairways though none were so far off line that he couldn’t recover. His iron game was sketchy and he seemed to leave several shots short of the mark.

Riccardo’s short game was pretty good however. He chipped well and after leaving his first putt of the day woefully short, the putter was great thereafter. Shillyshally gave all of a scare on his second shot on No. 11. He had pulled his tee shot left and was under some trees.

A rain shower had come up just before he attempted to punch out towards the green. He never saw the results of that shot as his feet went out from under him and he ended up flat on his back.

The two guys in the cart across the fairway were stunned while Riccardo’s cart partner was too busy watching the flight of the ball to notice. He was just fine however, though the shot was not.

Riccardo Shillyshally shot a respectable 78 for the day, but one thing I noticed was how quickly he was to anger after hitting a couple of bad shots. One would think that he would just be happy to be playing golf again, but when I couldn’t hit my 8-iron less than 120 yards to No. 9 and ended up in the creek, well, the words of a drunken sailor came pouring from my mouth.

Wait, I mean Riccardo’s…

Al Stephenson is The A-T’s golf columnist.

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