Rare ace during US Open at Merion course

DAN GELSTON
Last updated 08:34 17/06/2013

Relevant offers

Golf

Reason: Wonder kid’s day will surely come McIlroy ends frustrating Masters in top 10 Bubba gives green jacket the ultimate respect Bubba Watson runs away with US Masters title Woodland goes low on front nine, four back Thanks for the memories, says caddie Williams Watson surges to lead in Masters second round Mickelson misses first Masters cut since 1997 Aussie Marc Leishman makes Masters folklore John Senden storms into second at Augusta

Shawn Stefani lost track of the ball as soon it rocketed off his 4-iron. A roaring US Open gallery tracked it for him.

"Go! Go! Go! Go!"

It did Sunday when Stefani aced the 17th hole, making him the first golfer to make a hole-in-one at any US Open at Merion Golf Club, which is hosting the major for the fifth time.

"When the crowd went crazy, I knew it went in," he said.

His shot bounced out of the rough and rolled some 50 feet toward the pin before falling in the cup.

Stefani raised his arms and hopped around the tee in celebration. Caddie Chris Callas gave him a playful hug and a slap on the back.

"I didn't know what to do but jump up and down for joy," Stefani said.

Then he walked down the 213-yard, par-3 hole and planted a kiss on the sweet spot where it landed.

"We're in Philly. There's some great fans up here and I know they can be tough on you and they can love you forever," he said.

USGA Museum officials waited for Stefani near the scorecard trailer and hoped to acquire the ball. Stefani declined.

"It's hiding right now," he said. "I'm going to save it."

But he did pull the ball out of his pocket and showed it off. He also inquired about getting some sort of commemorative plaque from Merion.

The USGA's Far Hills, N.J. museum didn't go home empty-handed - Stefani donated a signed glove and scorecard.

His only other ace came when he was 13 at Goose Creek Country Club in Baytown, Texas, his hometown.

It was the first ace at Merion, but not at a Philadelphia Open. The first US Open hole-in-one came in 1907, when Jack Hobens aced the 147-yard 10th hole at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the NZ taxpayer financially assist pro golfer Lydia Ko?

Yes, let's back her to win big

Yes, but only until the 2016 Olympics

No, she's a professional

Lydia who? Don't care

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content