Teenager Aldrich Potgieter from South Africa made headlines in the golf world when he accomplished a rare feat during a PGA Tour qualifier. Unlike most holes-in-one, which typically occur on short par threes, Potgieter's achievement was even more extraordinary. On a blue moon Monday, he managed to shoot a hole-in-one on a par-four hole.
The remarkable shot took place during a qualifying event for the John Deere Classic at the Pinnacle Country Club in Milan, Illinois. From the 345-yard par-four 17th tee, Potgieter flawlessly struck the ball, sending it straight into the cup with a single stroke. This kind of accomplishment is extremely rare, with only one other recorded par-four ace in a competitive PGA Tour event. Andrew Magee achieved an albatross (three-under par on a single hole) at the 332-yard 17th hole during the 2001 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Magee's feat remains unmatched in an official Tour event, as Potgieter's hole-in-one occurred during a non-Tour qualifying event.
Magee's remarkable shot was surrounded by peculiar circumstances. His ball deflected off the putter of fellow professional Tom Byrum, who was playing in the group ahead, and miraculously found its way into the cup. Since Magee's equipment was not involved in the deflection, the shot was deemed valid by rules officials.
In contrast, Potgieter's hole-in-one was less unusual, although he didn't witness it himself. Reflecting on the moment, he shared with the PGA Tour, "That was really exciting, and it was kind of a weird moment. 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, 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.'"
Despite this remarkable achievement, Potgieter's day had a bittersweet ending. He missed out on qualifying for the upcoming tournament by just one stroke. His six-under 66 was not enough to secure one of the four available spots in the 87-player field. Instead, American golfers Reid Martin and Anders Larson earned their first-ever tickets to a PGA Tour event, while Japanese players Yuto Katsuragawa and Kaito Onishi will be making their fifth and third starts, respectively.
Although Potgieter will have to wait for his sixth PGA Tour appearance, the future looks promising for the talented teenager. In June 2022, he defied his 140th amateur world ranking to become the second youngest winner in the 127-year history of the Amateur Championship. With such accomplishments at a young age, Potgieter's golf career holds great potential, and he is expected to make further waves in the sport.