“The Island Inexperienced” – three phrases which have struck worry into the hearts of even essentially the most gifted golfers.

A brief, 125-yard par-three surrounded by water, TPC Sawgrass’ iconic penultimate gap has drowned many a dream at The Gamers Championship for greater than 4 many years.

On Thursday, Hayden Buckley had different concepts.

After making a gentle begin to his first spherical on the PGA Tour’s flagship occasion, the American — having began from the tenth gap – teed up on the seventeenth at one-under par, tied for eighth.

One swing later, he was degree for the lead.

Buckley plays his shot from the 17th tee.

Utilizing a pitching wedge, the 27-year-old had despatched his ball crusing over the water and comfortably onto the inexperienced; his ball bouncing 3 times earlier than settling and curling leisurely into the cup.

A rapturous crowd roared their delight as Buckley gleefully tossed his hat into the air earlier than high-fiving his caddie, then enjoying companions Adam Lengthy and Taylor Montgomery.

It marks solely the eleventh ace on the famend gap within the 49-year historical past of The Gamers Championship, and the second in consecutive tournaments after Irish golfer Shane Lowry took the tally to double digits in final yr’s version.

Buckley toasts his ace.

After a run of 14 years with out a hole-in-one between 2002 and 2016, there have now been 5 aces on the seventeenth gap over the past eight editions of “the fifth main.”

For Buckley, who arrived in Florida as world No. 107 and is chasing his first PGA Tour title, it marked the second hole-in-one of his PGA Tour profession following his first on the Shriners Kids’s Open in 2021 – coincidentally, additionally on the seventeenth gap.

The fairytale continued as Buckley birdied the next par-four to maneuver to four-under, making him the primary participant on report at The Gamers Championship to comply with up a hole-in-one on the seventeenth with a birdie on the 18th, in keeping with the PGA Tour.

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