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Teenager Aldrich Potgieter shoots rare par-four hole-in-one in PGA Tour qualifier – not that he saw it

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As special as holes in one are, they almost always have one thing in common: they arrive on – typically short – par threes.

Once in a blue moon though, an even rarer type of ace occurs. On Monday, that blue moon rose over teenage golfer Aldrich Potgieter.

The 18-year-old South African went 345 yards from the par-four 17th tee to cup in just one stroke during a qualifying event for the John Deere Classic at Pinnacle Country Club in Milan, Illinois on Monday.

Only one par-four ace has ever been recorded in a competitive PGA Tour event. Andrew Magee shot into the record books with his albatross (three-under par on a single hole) at the 332-yard 17th hole of the 2001 Waste Management Phoenix Open and, given Potgieter’s didn’t come at an official Tour event, the American’s feat is yet to be matched.

Magee’s hole-out materialized in bizarre circumstances, the ball deflecting off the putter of fellow pro Tom Byrum – playing in the group ahead – and into the cup. As it did not hit his own equipment, the shot was deemed valid by rules officials.

Potgieter’s ace was less peculiar, not that he saw it.

“That was really exciting, and it was kind of a weird moment,” Potgieter told the PGA Tour.

“I didn’t see it go in, so I didn’t know. Kind of a blind tee shot, but … when I saw my caddie run out to the fairway, and was pumping up his arms and going wild, I thought it was probably like a foot or two.

“And he said no, it was in the hole. So it wasn’t like one you see on a par 3 and you go wild with the crowd. It was kind of a quiet moment to yourself where you’re like, ‘I still can’t believe that happened.’”

Hole-in-one on a 345-yard par 4!

18-year-old Aldrich Potgieter did the unthinkable at the @JDClassic Monday Qualifier.

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 3, 2023

It ended up being a bittersweet day for Potgieter, who missed out on qualifying for Thursday’s tournament by a single stroke.

The South African’s six-under 66 saw him fall agonizingly short of securing one of the four spots available inthe 87-player field. American duo Reid Martin and Anders Larson stamped their tickets to their first ever PGA Tour event, while Japanese pair Yuto Katsuragawa and Kaito Onishi will be making their fifth and third starts respectively.

World No. 1275 Potgieter, who finished 65th at the US Open in June, will have to wait a little longer for his sixth PGA Tour appearance, but the future looks bright for the teenager.

In June 2022, he became the second youngest winner in the 127-year history of the Amateur Championship, defying his 140th amateur world ranking to become only the third South African to lift the title.

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