PGA TOURLeaderboardWatch + ListenNewsFedExCupSchedulePlayersStatsGolfbetSignature EventsComcast Business TOUR TOP 10Aon Better DecisionsDP World Tour Eligibility RankingsHow It WorksPGA TOUR TrainingTicketsShopPGA TOURPGA TOUR ChampionsKorn Ferry TourPGA TOUR AmericasLPGA TOURDP World TourPGA TOUR University

Aldrich Potgieter makes 345-yard ace at Deere qualifier, falls one shy

5 Min Read

Monday Qualifiers

Aldrich Potgieter makes 345-yard ace at Deere qualifier, falls one shy

Finishes one back of spot in field at TPC Deere Run; four players qualify

    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    One of Monday's most intriguing stories at the John Deere Classic qualifier came by way of a player who missed a spot in the field by one stroke.

    South African teenager Aldrich Potgieter made a hole-in-one at the 345-yard, par-4 17th hole at Pinnacle Country Club in Milan, Illinois, smoking a drive on the dogleg-right that he didn't see go in -- but it counts just the same. His 6-under 66 held up in a tie for fourth through the morning wave at the qualifier, and he hung around for a chance at a playoff before a third 65 was recorded -- Kaito Onishi, joining Yuto Katsuragawa and amateur Anders Larson -- in addition to Reid Martin's 62.

    Martin, 31, will make an emotional TOUR debut after spending time as a caddie on the PGA TOUR, Korn Ferry Tour and LPGA, while Larson, 19, is a rising sophomore at Tennessee Tech. Onishi and Katsuragawa each compete on the Korn Ferry Tour this season; the circuit is on a holiday break this week.

    Still, much of the day's buzz belonged to Potgieter. There has been just one par-4 hole-in-one recorded in PGA TOUR-sanctioned competition, Andrew Magee on the 17th hole at the 2001 WM Phoenix Open. Potgieter's won't count in the record books, but for an intriguing young talent who won last year's The Amateur Championship at age 17, it's another tale for the lore.

    The albatross moved Potgieter to 6-under through eight holes, after making four birdies against a bogey in his first seven. He played his last 10 in even-par to card 6-under 66 and keep a puncher's chance at a tee time at TPC Deere Run, ultimately finishing one shot away.

    "That was really exciting, and it was kind of a weird moment," Potgieter said of his par-4 ace. "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.'"

    Potgieter’s standing is quickly rising in the golf world. Last year, he became the second-youngest winner of The Amateur, an event that dates back to 1885. He made the cut at last month’s U.S. Open, averaging more than 190 mph ball speed. The following week, he competed in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Compliance Solutions Championship, finishing T35.

    He's continuing to make summertime memories, and although his week won't include a tee time at TPC Deere Run, he'll certainly remember this Monday.

    In all, 87 players competed for four spots in this week's field at the John Deere Classic, the TOUR's long-running event in the Quad Cities.

    Click here for all scores from Monday's qualifier.


    Here's a capsule look at the four John Deere Classic qualifiers:

    Reid Martin (10-under 62)

    Age: 31
    Hometown: Mukilteo, Washington
    Alma mater: University of Central Florida
    PGA TOUR starts: 0

    Notes: The native of Washington state achieved a lifelong dream Monday, earning his first PGA TOUR start as a player with nine birdies and an eagle against one bogey. Martin has spent time as a caddie on the PGA TOUR, Korn Ferry Tour and LPGA, and was on the bag for Mark Hubbard's victory at the Korn Ferry Tour's 2019 LECOM Suncoast Classic. He has also spent time as Athletic Director at the Southwest Seattle Boys and Girls Club and as a golf instructor, coach and mentor for the First Tee of South Puget Sound. He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio, and advanced through the pre-qualifier for the John Deere Classic before maximizing his moment Monday.

    Yuto Katsuragawa (7-under 65)

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Kiyosu, Japan
    Alma mater: Nihon University
    PGA TOUR starts: 4
    Cuts made: 3
    Best PGA TOUR finish: T47, 2022 The Open Championship

    Notes: Made eight birdies against a bogey Monday to secure his fourth TOUR start of the season ... Earned a spot at last month's U.S. Open via Final Qualifying, then proceeded to make the cut at Los Angeles Country Club en route to a solo-58th finish ... Competing extensively on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, with four made cuts in 11 starts. His best finish is a T19 at the Astara Golf Championship presented by Mastercard in February ... Has featured as high as No. 102 on the Official World Golf Ranking ... Was named Rookie of the Year on 2022 Japan Golf Tour.

    Kaito Onishi (7-under 65)

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Chiba, Japan
    Alma mater: University of Southern California
    PGA TOUR starts: 2
    Cuts made: 1
    Best PGA TOUR finish: 76th, 2022 ZOZO Championship

    Notes: Made five consecutive birdies on Monday, Nos. 3-7, en route to his qualifying score ... Playing full-time on Korn Ferry Tour this season, with five made cuts in 15 starts. He recorded back-to-back top-15 finishes at the Astara Chile Classic and Veritex Bank Championship in April ... Was named 2018 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year at the University of Southern California ... Originally from Japan but attended high school at the IMG Academy in west Florida.

    Anders Larson (7-under 65)

    Age: 19
    Hometown: Pine Island, Minnesota
    College: Tennessee Tech; rising sophomore
    PGA TOUR starts: 0

    Notes: Made five consecutive closing birdies Monday to secure his first career PGA TOUR start ... Competed in eight events as a freshman at Tennessee Tech, compiling a stroke average of 74.42 ... Was a three-sport athlete at Pine Island High School, competing in basketball and baseball as well as golf ... Placed third individually at the Minnesota 2A state championship as a senior, while also leading his program to its first state title ... Majoring in business management with a concentration in production and operations management.

    Privacy PolicyTerms of UseAccessibility StatementDo Not Sell or Share My Personal InformationCookie ChoicesSitemap

    Copyright © 2024 PGA TOUR, Inc. All rights reserved.

    PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, and the Swinging Golfer design are registered trademarks. The Korn Ferry trademark is also a registered trademark, and is used in the Korn Ferry Tour logo with permission.