Last Monday Ponoka golfer Jared Nicolls had the game of a lifetime during the McLennan Ross Junior Golf Tour at the Wolf Creek Golf Resort.
This was one game for the history books for Nicolls, who not only scored a career first hole-in-one but also sunk a long downhill 66-foot putt that clinched the number one spot of the tournament.
Nicolls finished with a score of 69, one under the 70-par course but winning the tournament did not seem to be in the cards for the avid golfer. Nicolls was a few strokes behind long-time friend AJ Armstrong and winning was going to take some definite concentration. He started the day in sixth place.
“He was ahead of me by two shots most of the day,” said Nicolls.
The first big break was the hole-in-one on the Hole 7, the 16th hole played that day. “I aimed it right in the middle of the green with a 50 degree wedge,” he said explaining how he configured the shot.
Heavy winds helped bring the ball closer to the flag and with two bounces, it made it. This tied the game between Armstrong and Nicolls. With two more holes to play the pressure was on to do well, but Armstrong was not about to give up.
On Hole 8 — the 17th hole played — Armstrong birdied the hole while Nicolls made par, this tied the score with only one hole left. Nicolls said Armstrong played a safer game on the last hole making a shorter hit. Nicolls on the other hand made a risky drive that put him in the rough.
“I’m in the rough from the bottom of the hill from 94-yards,” stated Nicolls.
Making matters worse, Armstrong’s second hit put his ball eight or nine feet from the hole while Nicolls’s second shot put him on the green 66 feet away. Admitting to usually getting nervous in such circumstances, Nicolls said nevertheless he tried to stay calm under the pressure.
He sunk the ball all the way down the long green. “This putt was straight downhill with lots of left and right breaks.”
Armstrong missed the putt that would tie the game and Nicolls ended up with the win. He also earned himself the Order of Merit trophy for the tour.
The summer golf season has been a good one for Nicolls, who won four of the five tournaments he took part. He has been speaking with different universities and hopes to earn himself an athletic scholarship.