Amateur with one arm makes hole-in-one at The American Express
January 16, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- January 16, 2020
One-armed amateur's ace at The American Express
Laurent Hurtubise may be an amateur, but he hit the shot of the day at The American Express.
Hurtubise, who was born with one arm, made a hole-in-one on the 151-yard fourth hole of PGA West’s Stadium Course. He plays the game with his left arm as his right ends just below his elbow.
Amateurs compete alongside the pros in a pro-am competition at The American Express and Hurtubise has played in the event multiple times. He also holed a shot from 60 yards in 2018.
Three-time PGA TOUR winner Troy Merritt – his partner – was perhaps more excited than Hurtubise himself.
“That was the coolest experience I’ve had on the golf course,” Merritt said.
Another TOUR winner in Greg Chalmers – a lefty himself – was also playing in the group with Hurtubise and said it was just one of several incredible shots throughout his round.
“He hit the shot and it was a nice little cut for a leftie. Right away we sort of said “sit down” but it was one of those shots where you always thought, hang on – this could go in here,” Chalmers said.
“It landed around the front of the green and we were all watching it closely as it tracked toward the hole and then bang, it disappeared. We all went up in celebration and Laurent went ballistic and maybe let out a few choice words, but who could blame him? It was an incredible shot.”
Chalmers said Hurtubise had him thinking back to last month when he competed in the Australian Open. The Australian All Abilities Championship is run concurrently with the Open and players with a disability play alongside, and off the same tees, as their able-bodied counterparts.
“I saw some incredible golf back home with some of the best players from the world rankings for golfers with a disability and Laurent sure showed some of the same sort of skills out there today,” Chalmers added.
“He’s as cool as a cucumber. It was unreal. And I think he told me it was his third ace so that’s awesome.”
Having grown up without most of his right arm, Hurtubise quickly found sports were a way for him to fit in with other kids.
"As a kid, sports was a way for me to prove that even though I had a difference that I could perform as well as normal people ... as they call them," Hurtubise told the Desert Sun.
"People have differences and handicaps and whatever, but it was my way to prove that I could be as good as everybody else."
He played hockey and baseball, but golf became his favorite sport when he turned 11. He takes a full, one-handed lefty swing that can produce drives of about 230 yards.
He also uses golf to inspire amputees or others without both arms. He’s talked to kids and parents at a Shriners hospital near his home in Montreal about overcoming a disability.
“It does feel fulfilling when someone tells me they’ve been inspired to play a sport because of me,” he continued.
His latest highlight is on video, so there’s no telling how many it may inspire.