The Hole-in-One Birdie
By mustang6560 on 7/19/11
I have another hole-in-one story for you, but this time, it includes a twist.

I've heard of the unfortunate hole-in-one par, where a golfer re-tees his ball after a stroke and distance penalty and ends up holing it for the most unsatisfyng par in golf. But I've never heard of the hole-in-one birdie. That is, until now.

At the 64th Junior Amateur, Connor Klein aced the 170-yard par 3 fifth hole. But his celebration was short lived because he and the other two golfers in his group were assessed a one stroke penalty for pace of play.
"It's a birdie," said the USGA's David Staebler, director of the Junior Amateur tournament, shrugging his shoulders.

Staebler said it's the first time he's ever seen that happen in a tournament.
Naturally, the group appealed the penalty stroke and both of Connor's playing partners had the stroke removed, but not Connor. I understand the USGA is trying to make a point, but how can you reverse the penalty stroke for two out of the three players in the group?

Pace of play is indeed a huge issue for golf, heck it's part of the motivation behind the "Tee It Forward" campaign. But taking away an ace from a teenager won't make him speed up his pace of play. It just ruined the most thrilling personal accomplishments of his young golf career.

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photo by charliebomber

[ comments ]
birdieXris says:
Well unfortunately there's nothing in the article about it but i suspect that Connor Klein was the one making them fall behind. It is common with pace of play issues that if you feel someone is dragging the group down then you can speak up and let a marshal know. It doesn't say that's what happened but i assume the "appeal" was basically the two guys saying "yea it's his fault" and getting the penalty on Klein. Whether or not it actually was will probably never be known. I feel bad for the guy though.
bobhooe says:
that's a cool picture, would love to ruin a hole like that. you would have to use duct tape to fix that divot.
Duke of Hazards says:
i don't get it. what teenager takes more than 50 seconds on the tee box of a 170 yrd par 3?
Kickntrue says:
Good for the USGA! He still has a hole-in-one story, regardless of what he had to take on the scorecard. We NEED to curb this stuff at younger levels. Slow play may be golf's biggest problems and very good players are usually where the problem lies. The see the crap on tv and duplicate. No good.
Tenth_Doctor says:
I actually witnessed another hole in one birdie the other day -- a guy was teeing off on the first hole of an executive course, a par three. He (allegedly) hadn't played a round in over 10 years (from the rest of his round, I'd believe it).

His first swing? Whiff. But his second swing? the cup.
Bryan K says:
bobhooe: I took a divot just like that about a month ago. Unfortunately, though, my ball didn't end up in the cup. It bouned about 10" away for a tap-in birdie.
Bryan K says:
You know, I've played a bunch of kids' courses over the past few weeks, and what I have seen is completely contrarian to what is commonly perceived. Most kids I run into are not the ones responsible for slow pace of play. Of course, there are exceptions, but I've been absolutely amazed by the courtesy most of these kids show even without an adult present. I was allowed to play through by more 10-12 year olds over the past month than the rest of my life combined.
ot says:
is the penalty stroke assessed on a specific hole for a specific reason? couldn't they just asses the strok at the end of the round?
[ post comment ]
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