A Hole-In-One Isn't A Hole-In-One When?
As amateur golfer Tom Kenney of New York found out the hard way, just holing your tee shot on a 370-yard par-4 holes isn't always enough to claim an elusive hole-in-one.
Kenney had to be terribly frustrated with the results after his experience on the 18th hole at Batavia Country Club in New York. Here's how his story unfolded:
Kenney busted his tee shot on the 370-yard hole, but he thought it might have flown out of bounds. To save time and having to return to the tee, he hit a provisional ball.
Unable to find his first ball where he thought it might have landed, Kenney went back to the provisional ball and played it to the green. But upon reaching the putting surface, he found that his original tee shot had gone in the hole for an ace.
Or was it?
As all of us rules followers know, once a second shot with a provisional ball has been played, the original ball is deemed out of play and the appropriate penalty of stroke and distance is assessed.
To further complicate matters, the rules also state that a golfer cannot borrow a club from a fellow player during a round. Kenney had broached that rule when he decided to hit the tee shot with his father's driver.
Contacted by the Daily News of Batavia, Bernie Loehr, rules of golf associate for the United States Golf Association in Far Hills, N.J., said, "It's a two-stroke penalty."
Don Neal, executive secretary of the Rochester District Golf Association took a different approach.
"That's a hole-in-one," Neal said. "The ball in play was holed. He's going to take credit for the hole-in-one, although officially, he had a 3 because of the two-stroke penalty he incurred for using his father's driver. Does that nullify the hole-in-one? I've never had that question."
Kenney, a 25-year-old weekend golfer who shot 84 for the round minus the penalty strokes, said he wasn't aware of the rule against borrowing the driver from his dad.
"In my eyes, it's a hole-in-one," Kenney said.
His three playing companions were in agreement, and Kenney said, "They went crazy when we found the ball in the hole."
Trivia: Seve Ballesteros was 19 years old in 1976 when he tied for second in the British Open at Royal Birkdale.
That same season, he was the youngest golfer to win the European Tour's Vardon Trophy for low scoring average.
Ballesteros won the Dutch Open that year and led the European money list. In 1986, he became the first player to win more than $1 million and more than one million pounds in career earnings.
Ballesteros learned to play golf as a 6-year-old by hitting balls in fields on his father's farm, using only a 3-iron.
In 1979, he won his first major title, the British Open at Royal Lytham, where he hit the infamous parking lot shot.
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