Aaron Rai makes hole-in-one on 17
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First PLAYERS Championship with more than one ace for the week at iconic hole
Written by Staff @PGATOUR
Aaron Rai holes 122-yard tee shot for an ace on No. 17 at THE PLAYERS
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – England’s Aaron Rai made a hole-in-one at the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass in the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship on Saturday.
From 122 yards, Rai hit a gap wedge and watched his ball land behind the pin and back up into the hole. He chest-bumped his caddie, Jason Timmis, and high-fived his playing partners as the crowd erupted at what was his third hole-in-one in competition.
“It was a little bit of a blur,” said Rai, who is making his first PLAYERS start. “I saw it go in and then I looked to the left to almost see – is it real? – and I saw almost the crowd's hands in the air.
“In the second after that,” he continued, “I looked to the right towards my caddie, and he came running at me. So, it happened very fast, but it feels very vivid now that I'm even talking about it and remembering some of those images. I couldn't quite believe that it happened, but very, very special. Very special. Something I'll always remember.”
Rai birdied the 16th and 18th holes for a wild, 4-under finish over his last three holes. He shot 65 and at 9 under total is tied for fourth place, five behind leader Scottie Scheffler.
A two-time winner on the DP World Tour, Rai, 28, has just one top-10 finish in 14 starts so far on the PGA TOUR this season, a T7 at the Cadence Bank Houston Open last fall. He is coming off a T53 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and is ranked 128th in the Official World Golf Ranking, 92nd in the FedExCup.
Hayden Buckley, who wound up missing the cut, made a hole-in-one at the same hole early in the opening round Thursday. Rai’s ace made this the first PLAYERS with more than once ace on 17 for the week.
Hayden Buckley makes a hole-in-one No. 17 at THE PLAYERS