TRURO - Brian MacLeod has added another impressive golf feat to his list of accomplishments.
The 53-year-old Salmon River blind golfer made his first hole-in-one on Sept. 12 while playing a round at Bull Creek Golf Course in Columbus, Ga.
"It's one of those things off my list, and I never thought I'd ever do it," said MacLeod, a B1 Division (no vision) golfer, who has won four Canadian Open titles, 11 national crowns and is a former world championship runner-up. "I came close a lot of times, but it was kind of a funny feeling. I wish there was more people there, but it was just nice to get one. I can say I got one now."
As MacLeod stood on the tee at the 150-yard par 3, eighth hole, his coach Kevin Lemmon informed him of a large bunker that covered the front of green, adding the hole played uphill and only half of the pin was visible from the tee box. Feeling wind in his face, MacLeod chose a five iron, which he typically hits 175 yards.
"I just said, ‘I'm not messing with that bunker - I'm gonna play for the back of the green."'
MacLeod said he struck his tee ball pure and was confident he cleared the bunker and hit the shot just as he wanted.
Upon their arrival to the green, MacLeod said Lemmon first checked the back of the green for the ball, but to no avail. He then looked in the bunker, but again, nothing.
"I was kind of joking and said, ‘Well, did you check the hole?"' MacLeod said. "He said, ‘No I didn't,' and then he come over and said, ‘Here's your ball,' and I said, ‘Don't screw with me Kevin,' and he's goes, ‘Here's your ball - it's in the hole."'
Making MacLeod's achievement even more special was the fact that he was among three visually impaired golfers to score aces on consecutive days last week in the United States.
On Sept. 10, Ty Thompson of Kentucky made a hole-in-one at Penninsula Golf Resort at Lancaster, Ky., while the following day Oregon's Ron Plath accomplished the feat at Stone Creek in Oregon City. Both are B2 Division (five per cent vision) players.
Not to be outdone, Kentucky's Kevin Edwards (B2 Division) scored an ace on Sept. 16 during a Lexington, Ky., tournament, which MacLeod also competed in.
"It was like some kind of epidemic goin' on there," laughed MacLeod.
MacLeod carded rounds of 97-95 in Lexington and won the B1 Division. The modified Stableford scoring system was used and MacLeod's score of 101 points was well ahead of the 59 points accumulated by the second-place finisher.
MacLeod will play in the California Blind Open next week before finishing the season at the Italian Open in early October.