Ponte Vedra Beach resident Kevin Slayden accomplished the highly improbable when he recorded two holes-in-one in the same three-day tournament during the Jacksonville Amateur Championship July 25-27 at Sawgrass Country Club.
Jeff Adams, JAGA VP-Administration, stated in an email to the Recorder, “This is a pretty big deal...something that is highly, highly improbable.”
On Thursday, the 22-year-old struck a 7-iron from 176 yards that disappeared into the sixth hole. During Saturday’s third round, the magic returned when his 8-iron from 160 yards did the same thing on the 15th hole.
Going into the tournament, Slayden had a hole-in-one in 2007 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club Lagoon Course.
After Slayden teed off on No. 6, he said his competitors were highly confident the ball had flown straight into the hole.
“I was very excited when I hit it because the trajectory looked so good,” Slayden said. “I could see in the distance — only with blurred vision. though. I did hear it rattle the flag stick and it was quite loud, actually.”
When the group got up to the green moments later, sure enough it was in.
“It felt awesome to hit the perfect shot in golf again and in such a dramatic fashion as slam-dunking it,” Slayden said.
He said the second one on Saturday felt very surreal.
“I knew it was good when I hit it but to do it again. Wow! I couldn’t believe it!” Slayden said.
Looking back, he can’t believe he had that much precision on both shots. It was even more poignant to accomplish the two shots on his home course.
“I was very blessed at accomplishing this very rare feat,” Slayden said.
On Saturday, his playing partners, James Sokul and David Anthony, rounded out the threesome with scores of 2 and 3, respectively.
Slayden finished T8 in the championship at 2-over-par 218. He is a member at the host Sawgrass Country Club and nearby TPC Sawgrass, home of THE PLAYERS.
Jordan Batchelor of Jacksonville carded rounds of 68-69-71--208 (-8) at Sawgrass Country Club to win the 58th edition of the Jacksonville Amateur Championship on Saturday by two strokes over Michael Smith of Ponte Vedra Beach.
Batchelor, whose career as a member of the University of North Florida golf team ended in May after the NCAA Championship, became the eighth Osprey to claim the Jacksonville Area Golf Association’s showcase event. Past champions from the Jacksonville-based school include Batchelor’s former teammates, Travis Trace (2014) and Andrew Alligood (2015), plus Steve Carter (2002), Michael Young (2003), Michael O’Neal (2007), Major Forbess (2010) and Sean Dale (2011).
Batchelor and Trace are the only two players to win both the JAGA Amateur and Match Play titles. Batchelor won the Match Play title in 2013, Trace in 2015.
To view complete results, visit jax.bluegolf.com or jaxareagolf.org.