September 19, 2013

Hawkins’ Hole-In-One Feat Something Rare

Herald-Journal Feature | Golfweek Spotlight

Spartanburg, S.C. – In the 10 days since sinking her second hole-in-one in a span of three days, USC Upstate freshman Allea Hawkins has been inundated with publicity and a lot of attention. Following 10 days of soliciting feedback from the nation's media relations directors, Hawkins seemingly is in rare air with her accomplishments.

Hawkins opened her collegiate career when the Spartans played in the Eat-A-Peach Classic on the Pine Lakes Course at the Jekyll Island Golf Resort in Georgia. In her second career round she hit a high cut shot with a hybrid from 165 yards on the par-3 6th hole, finding the bottom of the cup for her first career hole-in-one. At the time, she was just the second women's golfer to ever record an ace in program history. It also came, surprisingly, with little fanfare.

"I didn't really react to the first one," said Hawkins. "I didn't see it go in. The girl I was playing with told me she thought it went in and I told her I didn't think so, that it was in the shadow of the flagstick behind the hole. But, she moved over a bit and we looked in the range finder and didn't see it. When I got to the green it was in the hole. I didn't really react and just told myself I needed to concentrate on finishing the round."

Just two days later, Upstate was back in tournament completion in Spartanburg at the Terrier Intercollegiate played at the Country Club of Spartanburg. In the first round of the tournament, Hawkins stepped to the tee box on the 170-yard par-3 6th and hit the same exact high cut with a hybrid. This time, though, Hawkins saw the ball go in and went in her words, "crazy."

"I was going crazy…I saw it go in," said Hawkins. Hawkins is now the first Spartan golfer, male or female, to record two holes-in-one in their collegiate careers.

Following Hawkins' holes-in-one in back-to-back tournaments and within a three round span, the Upstate Media Relations Office began the process of national research to see if any college golfer, male or female, had ever achieved what Hawkins did in her first two tournaments. The Atlantic Sun Conference helped facilitate the research with its outreach abilities with all other college conference media relations staff members. To date, no other women's golf program in college golf has responded to the request citing any accomplishment that has matched or bettered the feat turned in by Hawkins. In fact, research has shown that only two men's players from last year are in the same ballpark as Hawkins. Chico State's Alistair Docherty made a hole-in-one in back-to-back rounds in the same tournament, the Coyote Classic (Feb. 24-26). Samford's Clay Nolan made holes-in-one in the first and third rounds of the Samford Intercollegiate (March 4-5). Both Docherty and Nolan were freshmen last year.

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