Bret Harte’s Jayden Saville hammered his tee shot on hole No. 3, a 250-yard par 4, at Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp during Wednesday’s Mother Lode League match against Linden and watched as the ball seemed to disappear into the shadow cast by the pin.
Little did the Bullfrog senior know, he had just sunk Bret Harte’s first hole-in-one during competition that Rich Cathcart can recall in the 28 years he’s been coaching golf at the Calaveras County high school.
“We went down to the cup and realized it wasn’t on the green but in the hole,” Saville said. “I couldn’t even believe it at first. Players on the other team were screaming at Colin Casey (of Bret Harte, who played the round with Saville) about it and congratulating me.”
Saville didn’t even seem sure of his shot after first hitting it, Casey said.
“He hit the ball and looked away because he thought it was a bad shot,” Casey said. “It took awhile for it to sink in, but after a few holes he seemed pretty happy about it.”
Cathcart said Saville’s parents and other family members, who had yet to see him play, were in attendance to watch the match and got to witness the shot.
“I was playing in front of them on hole 4 and we heard this loud kind of yelling, but we didn’t know what it was about until three holes later,” Cathcart said. “It was pretty exciting. He seemed very nervous after he made the hole-in-one though. He told me he didn’t really like the feeling. I guess it put a lot of pressure on him to continue his round.”
And what about the longstanding tradition of buying fellow golfers a round of drinks after sinking an ace?
“That’s what we kept telling him,” Cathcart said jokingly. “I think he took some of the team and they went out for milkshakes.”
Saville ended the match with a 42 on the front nine of the par 36 course as the Bullfrogs defeated the Lions 212-258 to continue their undefeated reign atop the MLL this season.
Bullfrogs Alex Milward and Casey also remained steady in their shooting, Cathcart noted.
Milward shot the low, a 38, to earn medalist honors for the match while Casey followed with a 39. Cathcart noted Milward has also shot a 37 in four matches this season and finished the mid-year MLL tournament at Castle Oaks with an impressive 74.
“He’s just been really solid all year for us,” Cathcart said. “Casey’s been playing very solid as well, and the other guys have been improving, so I’m excited about where we are right now.”
Casey, who moved to the area from his native Switzerland over the summer, has been playing golf since around the age of 4 and says he’s felt right at home on Bret Harte’s golf team.
His goals for this season are to shoot under par on the front 9, help his team win the league title and advance as far in the postseason as possible.
“I really want us to go far because this is the last year for the four seniors (Milward, Saville, Rodney Riner and Brock Pierce) on our team and I just hope we help them have a great final season,” Casey said.
The Bullfrogs (7-0 MLL) will next face arch-rival Calaveras (5-1 MLL) at Greenhorn Creek on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
“They’re very competitive and it’s been very close between us this season,”said Cathcart.
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