Joe Pagdin makes Jones Cup memory with hole-in-one

Brentley Romine

Joe Pagdin makes Jones Cup memory with hole-in-one

Junior

Joe Pagdin makes Jones Cup memory with hole-in-one

SEA ISLAND, Ga. – A little flu bug kept Mark Pagdin from following his son Joe’s second round Saturday at the Jones Cup. Instead, Mark kept tabs on Joe on live scoring from back at the hotel while also watching his hometown soccer team, Sheffield United, take on Preston in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Joe, who opened with an 8-over 80 at Ocean Forest Golf Club on Friday, began his second round on the par-5 10th hole and made birdie. After a bogey at the difficult par-4 12th, he got the shot right back with birdie at the par-4 13th.

Then Mark’s phone started to blow up with texts and Twitter notifications. Joe had just aced the par-3 15th hole. With the hole playing at 173 yards, Mark immediately knew what club Joe had hit.

“I knew it was his 7-iron,” Mark said.

After all, the club seems to be Joe’s lucky club. His only other hole-in-one came with the club when he was 13 years old playing the Future Masters in Dothan, Ala.

This latest one, though, was quite a bit more special.

“As soon a I made contact with it, it felt different than all the other shots,” Joe said. “It felt super pure and it was this high baby draw, and it landed, skipped a little bit and just went in the hole. I was in shock.”

It was the second straight year that a player had aced the 15th hole; Garrett Barber did it in last year’s final round. Pagdin’s hole-in-one sparked a second round that was 10 shots better than Friday. Pagdin shot 2-under 70 to climb to T-25 on the leaderboard at 6 over.

The Class of 2020 Florida commit is hoping for another strong finish on Sunday. He was one of just three players to shoot under par in all four rounds last month at the South Beach Amateur, where he tied for 19th. Before that, he tied for 10th at the Rolex Tournament of Champions in November.

He is just starting to regain the momentum he lost to a rib injury last summer. Pagdin was on the range at Lake Nona (Fla.) Country Club with friend and European Tour golfer Sam Horsfield when he felt a shot of pain in his ribs during a swing.

“I fell down and Sam’s like, ‘What happened?'” Pagdin said. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know.'”

Doctors determined that Pagdin had one of his rib heads displaced. The injury isn’t uncommon in golfers and is caused by overuse. Pagdin had the rib popped back into place but was forced to rest for a few weeks, halting a nice summer run of golf that included top-20s in three AJGA invitationals and the Western Junior.

“It’s something you can’t really control,” Pagdin said. “It’s just something I had to overcome.”

On Sunday at the Jones Cup, Pagdin will look to continue overcoming his opening-round 80 and post a good finish at one of amateur golf’s top events.

Of course, another hole-in-one wouldn’t hurt. And Pagdin certainly has his fingers crossed for plenty of 7-irons on Sunday.

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