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Mazel tov! Wachnish scores National's first ace

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- After a quiet Day 1 on the par 3s at the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championships, the first ace of the tournament has been recorded.

David Wachnish, playing in the Sr. Hogan flight with Michael Hickok and Michael Fair, aced the 164-yard 17th hole on the Lagoons course at Ponte Vedra Inn & Country Club.

'When I hit it I missed it a little bit, it went towards the green and we didn't see the ball because the flag was a little low.'

After a marshall told the group he thought the ball went in, his playing partners wondered why Wachnish remained calm, but he wasn't about to celebrate until confirmation, which he got when he arrived at the green and looked into the cup.

Wachnish is originally from Israel but moved to the United States 30 years ago and now resides in Rockville, Maryland. It's his first ace in the 25 years he's been playing the game. The ace scores him a $500 gift certificate to Golf Galaxy plus a skins pot. He followed up his ace with a triple bogey on the following hole before settling down to card an 87.

Wachnish's highlight of the 2012 season before the ace was a victory at the Havre de Grace Open at Bulle Rock Golf Club. Halfway through nationals, he finds himself in 79th place.

To celebrate? Wachnish bought his friend dinner and attended casino night, which has (luckily for Wachnish) free beer.

Championship Flight pace set

Mark Palmer, from Wintrhop Harbor, Illinois, leads the Championship Flight after rounds. The flight has played the Ocean and Lagoons course thus far at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Palmer torched the Ocean course today with a 68 that puts him three shots ahead of Ron Quick from Murrieta, California. 

Palmer will now take his lead to Dye's Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass before finishing on the Stadium Course on Friday.