Aldrich Potgieter, a South African teenager, had an exciting moment at the John Deere Classic qualifier. Despite missing out on a spot in the field by just one stroke, Potgieter made a remarkable hole-in-one on the 345-yard, par-4 17th hole at Pinnacle Country Club in Milan, Illinois. His 6-under 66 score placed him in a tie for fourth during the morning wave of the qualifier. While he hoped for a chance at a playoff, another golfer recorded a lower score, ultimately leaving Potgieter one shot away from securing a spot at TPC Deere Run.
Potgieter's par-4 ace was an extraordinary feat, especially considering there has only been one recorded par-4 hole-in-one in PGA TOUR-sanctioned competition. Although his achievement won't be officially recognized in the record books, it adds to the lore of this talented young golfer. Potgieter's golfing reputation has been on the rise, as he became the second-youngest winner of The Amateur Championship last year at the age of 17. He also made the cut at the U.S. Open, showcasing his impressive ball speed, and competed in the Korn Ferry Tour's Compliance Solutions Championship, finishing in the top 35.
While Potgieter won't have a tee time at TPC Deere Run this week, he will certainly remember this Monday as a memorable moment in his golfing journey. The John Deere Classic qualifier saw Reid Martin, Yuto Katsuragawa, Kaito Onishi, and Anders Larson secure their spots in the field. Martin, a former caddie, achieved his dream of making his PGA TOUR debut, while the other three golfers have previous TOUR experience.
In total, 87 players competed for the four available spots at the John Deere Classic, a longstanding event on the TOUR's calendar held in the Quad Cities region. The excitement and competition during the qualifier showcased the talent and determination of aspiring golfers aiming to make their mark on the professional circuit.
For complete scores from the qualifier, please refer to the provided link.
Qualifiers for the John Deere Classic:
Reid Martin (10-under 62): A 31-year-old from Mukilteo, Washington, with no previous PGA TOUR starts. Martin has worked as a caddie on the PGA TOUR, Korn Ferry Tour, and LPGA. He fulfilled his lifelong dream of earning a PGA TOUR start with an impressive performance, carding nine birdies and an eagle with only one bogey.
Yuto Katsuragawa (7-under 65): A 24-year-old from Kiyosu, Japan, who has made four previous PGA TOUR starts, making the cut three times. His best finish on the TOUR was a tie for 47th at the 2022 Open Championship. Katsuragawa has been competing on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, making four cuts in 11 starts.
Kaito Onishi (7-under 65): A 24-year-old from Chiba, Japan, who has made two previous PGA TOUR starts, making the cut once. His best finish on the TOUR was 76th at the 2022 ZOZO Championship. Onishi has been playing full-time on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, making five cuts in 15 starts.
Anders Larson (7-under 65): A 19-year-old rising sophomore at Tennessee Tech from Pine Island, Minnesota, with no previous PGA TOUR starts. Larson secured his first career PGA TOUR start with an impressive performance, recording five consecutive closing birdies during the qualifier.
These four qualifiers demonstrated their talent and potential, earning their spots to compete alongside seasoned professionals at the John