|Trio of Aces Highlight 24th Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship|
|Ralph West of Surprise, Ariz., Gary Sowinski of Schererville, Ind., and Jeff Whitfield of Weldon Spring, Mo., each made a hole-in-one during the Championship at Creighton Farms in Aldie, Va.|
ALDIE, Va. – Ralph West of Surprise, Ariz., recorded a hole-in-one during the final round of the 2012 Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship. It was the third career ace for West – all coming this year – and his second in competition.
It was one of three aces of the Championship, with two posted on the 17th hole at Creighton Farms.
Gary Sowinski of Schererville, Ind., and Jeff Whitfield of Weldon Spring, Mo., each made a hole-in-one at Creighton Farms in the opening round. Sowinski, the PGA director of golf at Briar Ridge Country Club in Schererville, Ind., used a 5-iron from 199 yards on the par-3 17th, while Whitfield, the PGA general manager at Mid-Rivers Golf Complex in Saint Peters, Mo., used a 4-iron from 195 yards on the par-3 ninth hole.
"It was absolutely pure luck," said Sowinski, who made his sixth competitive hole-in-one. "The hole did not look very accessible and at first we couldn't tell if it had rolled off or went in the hole. But I took a look in the hole and there it was."
The PGA director of instruction at Reid/West Golf Academies in Peoria, Ariz., West used a 6-iron from 207 yards on the 17th hole at Creighton Farms in Aldie, Va.
"I have been playing golf for 45 years and never had a hole-in-one until this year, and now I have had three," said West. "I didn't see the ball go in, but I did see that it had hit the stick. The people around the green saw it and by how they reacted, I knew it went in the hole."
Whitfield made his ace on his final hole of the opening round.
"The ball hit right in front of the hole and hopped right in," said Whitfield, who posted his first ace in competition. "But we couldn't see it go in unfortunately. There were two guys on the back of the green who reacted pretty strongly so we knew something good had happened."
West and Whitfield were two of the 76 players to make the cut at 7-over-par 151. West finished in a tie for 62nd, while Whitfield finished in a tie for 38th.