Richard Gervais Cashes in With First Hole-in-OnePerfect shot at the perfect time leads to large cash prize and tournament victory.
A golfing buddy of mine called one day and said he needed a fourth for a scramble tournament on March 4th, 2006. I don't normally play a lot of scramble events, but this sounded like fun so I agreed to join the team.
The tournament was played at Mount Dora Country Club in Mount Dora, FL - a course I had never played so I was reliant on the course knowledge of my playing partners Tom Teston and Danny Sellars (our fourth didn't show up). It was a beautiful Saturday with temperatures in the low 70's, but windy. We began our round on the 10th hole and got off to a fast start with birdies on the first four holes before parring the next three. We arrived at the par-3 17th, our eighth hole of the day, which was listed at 182 yards but was playing directly into the wind. As we were calculating actual yardage and club options, the ranger approached to tell us a hole-in-one on the 17th was worth $20,000. Nothing like a little added pressure!
That's me in the middle with Danny Sellers (l.) and Tom Teston (r.)
Danny hit first with a 4-iron but came up short. Tom played next, using a 5-iron and also came up short. Based on their shots, I determined the hole was playing more like 200-205 yards, so I grabbed my 5-wood. Despite my team telling me I had too much club, I teed up my Titleist Pro V1, choked down a few inches on the club and proceeded to hit the best shot in my 11 years of playing golf - a laser right at the flag stick! The ball landed about 8 ft directly in front of the pin, rolled forward and disappeared. Danny and Tom both start yelling "I think it went in!" They were going crazy, convinced the ball found the bottom of the cup, but I was trying to stay calm having been disappointed by near hole-in-ones several times in the past. I wasn't sure if maybe there was a ridge in the middle of the green, or if the ball rested behind the flag stick or if it did actually go in the hole. With a little extra bounce, we raced to our carts.
As we drove up, Tom was hanging half way out of the cart saying over and over: "I don't see it." I asked him if he could check the back of the green when we got up there, thinking maybe 5-wood was too much club. I'm not even sure he heard me, because all he kept saying was "I don't see it," and when we finally reached the green, he and Danny jumped out of the cart and ran to the hole. I started to reach for my putter, trying to remain calm. It wasn't long before I knew. Tom and Danny looked in the hole and immediately went crazy, jumping up and down. I pumped my fist, turned to the ranger for final confirmation and he said it was good. Then it was really time to celebrate - not only did I record my very first hole-in-one, but it was worth $20,000!
I slowly pulled my Titleist out of the hole, kissed it, and put it in my golf bag for safekeeping.
We finished our front nine at 6-under-par. We were pumped up playing the next few holes, hitting great tee shots but we couldn't make any putts. We ended up with four birdies on the back nine for a 10-under 62 total. We knew it was good but were sure there was another team who had gone lower. We were wrong. On top of everything else that had happened, we went on to win the tournament by two strokes! It was the type of day you wouldn't believe unless it happened to you.
At this time, the $20,000 check is "in the mail," as they say, but I have a great Las Vegas trip planned when it arrives!
I would like to thank Titleist for producing the best golf balls and clubs on the market. I am Titleist 100% - from my Titleist bag to my golf balls and clubs - and firmly believe Titleist was, is and will always be the BEST.
Thanks for everything,
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