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    • Hong earns car for PGA TOUR China's first ace

    • Skyler Hong won a Buick for his hole-in-one Friday at the Buick Open. (Lao Yao)Skyler Hong won a Buick for his hole-in-one Friday at the Buick Open. (Lao Yao)

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    GUANGZHOU, China -- One swing made the Buick Open a memorable week for PGA TOUR China Series player Skyler Hong.

    Standing on the tee of the par-3 13th, his fourth hole Friday, the South Korean who grew up in San Diego pulled out a 6-iron and eyed his target 186 yards away. When the ball rolled in the hole, Hong, in his fifth year as a pro, had his 13th career hole-in-one. It was the first ace in PGA TOUR China Series history and, oh by the way, won a 2014 Buick GL-8.

    “I thought the car was for a Sunday hole-in-one, so after I made the ace I stood there daydreaming a little, thinking maybe I should drive it back to Arizona,” he said, laughing, recognizing that navigating the car over oceans makes that proposition a little tricky.

    The Buick Open had been a fairly forgettable two days for Hong. There was the first-round 78 that included three double bogeys and left him 12 shots behind leader Sam Chien through 18 holes.

    Then in the second round, his play was more of the same as he shot a 4-over 76 to miss the cut.

    Still, the 2014 Buick Open will be one Hong always remembers. It’s funny how one shot can change your entire two-day experience.

    Hong said he simply tried to replicate his first-round shot at No. 13, a shot that stopped 3 feet from the cup. “The day before, my ball burned the edge (of the hole). So I was hoping for the same thing,” he added. “As I watched it, I thought, ‘That’s pretty good. It just rolled in.’ ”

    Hong was 3 under on that hole for his two rounds but 13-over on his other 34 holes. So with a free weekend, Hong will practice and then prepare for the Wuhan Open Monday qualifier in 10 days, a break that gives him plenty of time to both work on his game and do one of two things. He can try to figure out how he’s going to get a 2014 Buick back to Arizona, or he can just load his clubs in the trunk and head to north to Wuhan. 

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