BOB WEST ON GOLF — Improbable or unusual aces always good writing, reading

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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Among the fun parts of authoring a weekly golf column is being on the lookout for anything involving a hole in one. The wackier the circumstances the better for the shot that all golfers crave and a very small percentage get to brag about.

This week, then, there are multiple entries and one of them involves Lamar University ex MJ Daffue. Daffue, after earning his PGA Tour card via the Korn Ferry Tour, was playing in only his second event as a card-carrying member at last week’s Sandersons Farms championship.

Arriving at the 181-yard, 4th hole in somewhat of a huff after making double bogey on the par 5, 3rd, Daffue crisply struck an 8-iron directly at the pin. He couldn’t see the hole on the slightly elevated green and, with no gallery observing a threesome of relative no-names, there was no telling reaction.

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The PGA video, which you can watch by Googling “MJ Daffue hole in one,” shows Daffue walking onto the green, looking around and not seeing a ball. He glances over a tournament volunteer for help and is nonchalantly told “it’s in the hole.”

Daffue steps over to the pin, looks down and sees the ball. He then points at it, picks it up and raises his arms in the air in a delayed and muted celebration.

“Why didn’t you say anything?”, you can hear asking the seemingly unimpressed volunteer?

The ace helped Daffue shoot a two-under par 70. He would add rounds of 70-70-74 to finish at 4-under 284. That was good to tie for 61st and earn him $17,222.

It was his first made cut and first paycheck as a PGA Tour card holder but somehow I have to think the lasting memory will be of the ace and how he found out about it.

Contrast all that to the hole-in-one made by 16-year-old San Diego Poway High School sophomore Kathy Ko. Ko, who had just moved to San Diego from Chicago, was on the girls’ team as an invited walk-on because the coach saw “potential.”

She had never done anything golf wise beyond hitting balls on the range, so naturally she made an ace in her first actual on-course round.

After making a 10 on what was her 13th hole of a tournament, she hit a 6-iron from 140-yards and watched it roll and roll and roll until it went out of sight. Ko did not see the ball go in but the coach of the opposing team did and reacted accordingly.

“He shouted, ‘you got a hole in one!’ ”, she related to Golfweek. “And I was like, me? Another girl hit before me, so I thought maybe it was her ball. But it was me.

“I get that it’s a big deal because some people can’t make a hole in one. And it’s funny that I got it so quickly. I can say that it’s a very humbling experience getting a hole in one the first time I played..”

Every golfer who finds that funny may now laugh. The rest of you still in pursuit of that first ace may eat your heart out. Shoot, even MJ Daffue has to take a back seat to Ko.

Meanwhile, back on the home front, Lonnie Mosley of Nederland exited the horde of golfers without a hole-in-one Monday at Babe Zaharias. Mosley sank a 9-iron from 120 yards on the 7th hole. Witnesses were Jason Mosley and Jim Smith.

CHIP SHOTS: The good news for PNG ex Chris Stroud in the Sanderson Farms Championship was that he made a second consecutive cut on rounds of 71-70. The bad news is that he could do no better than 72-72 on the weekend, faded to T67 and didn’t earn the significant Fed Ex points he so desperately needs with his PGA Tour medical exemption running out.

His fading status smacked Stroud squarely in the face this week as he was unable to get into the Las Vegas Shriner’s Championship. Stroud won’t be able to play again until the Oct. 27-30 Bermuda Championship. Time off is the last thing he needs.

Andrew Landry failed to make the cut in the Sanderson on rounds of 72-73. He is, however, in the field for the Shriners. So is Daffue.

In the Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 ball at Babe Zaharias, the team of Keith Mullins, Don MacNeil, Ron Mistrot and Larry Johnson won the front with minus 2. That was also the winning score on the back for the foursome of Ed Holley, Eddie Delk, Tony Trevino and Keith Marshall.

Closest to the pin winners were Doug LeBlanc (No. 2, 7 feet, 8 inches), Danny Robbins (No. 7, 10-6), John House (No. 12, 5-8) and Keith Mullins (No. 15, 4-9).

The Friday Zaharias 2 ball saw the team of Kenny Robbins, Joe Gongora, Rufus Reyes and Jeff Rinehart win the front with minus 4. On the back, minus 2 won for the team of Craig Geoffroy, Delk, Mistrot and John Ferguson.

Closest to the pin winners were Bob West (No. 2), Raymond Darbonne (No. 7), Earl Richard (No. 12) and Kenny Robbins (No. 15).

The Wednesday Zaharias DogFight was played in an all-points-count format. Taking first place with 28 points was the team of Kenny Robbins, Rick Pritchett, Charles Perez and Jerry Watson. Second with 25 points was the foursome of Richard, Gongora, Harrell Guidry and Glenn Knight.

Closest to the pin winners were Pritchett (No. 2), James Vercher (No. 7), Jim Cady (No. 12) and Danny Robbins (No. 15).

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