Heart stents put on hold while Hardin bags hole in one

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Derky Hardin of Groves wins this year’s “you gotta believe in fate award” for his first ever hole in one, after sinking a 6-iron from 148 yards on the second hole June 1 at Babe Zaharias.

Hardin, you see, was supposed to be in the hospital that day having two stents put in his heart. Alas, he was informed the night before that his insurance had not yet approved the procedure.

“I didn’t have anything else to do so I decided to play golf,” said Hardin, “After the ball went in, I thought well, everything happens for a reason. I also thought I might not get another opportunity.”

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Chances are he will. Insurance approval arrived on Thursday and the stents were put in on Friday. Oh, yes, the witnesses for the ace were David Evans and Mark Griffin.

Hole in one history, of course, is loaded with head-shaking tales.

Like the lady in England who made three in one day during a 36-hole tourney. Like pro golfer Andrew Magee getting one on the par 4, 17th at TPC Scottsdale when his drive rolled into the group ahead on the green, caromed off Steve Pate’s putter and went in. Like the husband-wife duo that sank back-to-back ones on the same hole with the same club.

The list of weird aces goes on and on and on and there was a new entry last week in Minneapolis around the same time frame Hardin’s ball was rolling into the cup at Zaharias. This crazy scenario involved two people who didn’t know each other making a hole in one with the same exact ball less than an hour apart.

Yes, the same exact ball.

Seventh grader Preston Miller, playing a Titleist 4 Pro V1 with his school’s St. Louis Park logo on it, sank his121-yard tee shot on the fourth hole at Minneapolis Golf Club. Miller, rather than stuffing the ball in his bag to keep as a souvenir, kept playing it and wound up losing it after an errant shot into some trees on the seventh hole.

Not long after Ricardo Fernandez, playing the 12th hole, which runs adjacent to No. 7, hit his ball into the same trees, lost it, but then found a Titleist 4 Pro VI with a St. Louis Park school logo on it. The same ball with which Miller had made his earlier ace.

Fernandez, naturally, didn’t know the history and opted to play that ball to replace the one he lost. Four holes later he teed up the ball on the 181-yard, 16th and authored what would be his fourth hole in one.

Upon reaching the clubhouse, Fernandez told the starter about his hole in one. He was informed it was the day’s second ace, that a group was inside celebrating the first. Fernandez decided to join the celebration.

Once there, he congratulated Miller and suggested they take a picture holding up the golf balls with which they made their hole in one. Miller noted that he’d lost his hole-in-one ball, then his eyes widened when Fernandez produced a Titleist 4 Pro V1 with the St. Louis Park logo.

“Where did you get that?” he asked. “Found it in the trees between 7 and 12,” was the response.”

Miller then told Fernandez he was pretty sure that was the ball with which he’d made his ace. Fernandez promptly gave him the ball back and another amazing hole in one story lit up social media.

Minneapolis Golf Club head pro Dan Simpson put it all in perspective.

“I don’t know if that’s ever happened in the history of golf,” he said.

Let me go out on a limb and say never.

CHIP SHOTS: Lamar ex MJ Daffue, as has been well documented in this space lately, has been tearing up the Korn Ferry Tour. Daffue, with five tops 10s, is third on the KFT points list and has already assured himself a PGA Tour card for next year.

On Monday, the day billed as the “longest day in golf” because of all the U.S. Open final qualifiers from coast to coast, Daffue was front and center with another strong performance. Playing in Springfield, Ohio, where there were eight spots for 78 players, Daffue was co-medalist with rounds of 67-66.

Watch for MJ next week in Brookline, Mass. The way he is playing the Kingwood resident might make some waves.

In the Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 ball at Babe Zaharias, the team of Rufus Reyes, Craig Geoffroy, Raymond Darbonne and Charles Leard won the front with minus 4 and tied the back at minus 1. Also minus 1 on the back was the fivesome of Dan Flood, Jim Cady, Bob Byerly, Harrell Guidry and James Smith.

Closest to the pin winners were Cady (No. 2, 9 feet, 1 inch), Kenny Robbins (No 7, 5-3), Reyes (No. 12, 4-10) and Bob West (No. 15, 5-1).

The Friday Senior 2 ball saw the team of Danny Robbins, Bill Hanley, Reyes and Tony Trevino take the front with minus 3. On the back, there was a tie at minus 1 between the team of Earl Richard, Dwayne Morvant, Frank Jackson and Dale Carter and the foursome of Hicks, Doug LeBlanc, Leard and Caleb Klein.

Closest to the pin winners were Robbins (No. 2, 2 feet, 1 inch), Dwayne Benoit (No. 7, 2-2), LeBlanc (No. 12, 12-9) and Earl Richard (No. 15, 3-6).

The Wednesday DogFight was played in flights, with a format calling for best ball on the front and two-man scramble on the back.

In First Flight, the team of LeBlanc-Gary Whitfill won with a 67, edging Cady-Ron LaSalle by two shots. Cap Hollier-Dwayne Morvant won Second Flight with a 70, besting Gary Fontenot-Rick Pritchett by two. Don McNeil-Dan Flood took Third Flight by one stroke with a 72. In Fourth Flight, Gary Anderson-Bill Jones won big with a 69.

Closest to the pin winners were Flood (No. 2, 10 feet, 2 inches), Jones (No. 7, 12.5 inches), LeBlanc (No. 12, 12-7) and Cady (No. 15, 3-8) . . .

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