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A birthday ace

LA QUINTA, Calif. – When Chris Stavinoha arrived in Southern California this weekend from his home in The Woodlands, Texas, he was hoping to enjoy a good practice session before beginning his National Championship week. What made it even better was that Sunday was his birthday. For an avid golfer, what could be better than 18 holes at PGA West's Stadium Course on your birthday?

Well, how about a hole in one? And this wasn’t just any hole in one. Ironically, Stavinoha’s ace came at the fourth hole, and on his 44th birthday.

“I was in disbelief,” Stavinoha said of his first-ever ace. “The hole was cut on a ridge, so I couldn’t really tell if it was in or not, but the guys in my group said, ‘That ball’s in the hole!’”

On Tuesday Stavinoha returned to the 170-yarder during his tournament round and made par. “I guess that hole just fits my eye or something.”

No tournament ace, but nonetheless one of the most unlikely hole-in-one stories you’ll ever hear.