Local golfer hits shot of his life — then he does it again

Local golfer hits shot of his life — then he does it again

A few thoughts from the week in sports …

When Wooster resident Jake Miller carded a hole-in-one during The Patios For Patriots scramble at The Pines Golf Course on Aug. 20, he jokingly told his teammates, “That’s all you got out of me for the rest of the day.”

Miller fired his first career ace on the 137-yard No. 2 hole with a pitching wedge, one-hopping it into the cup.

To the disbelief of Miller and everyone else at The Pines that day, the 20-year-old couldn’t have been more wrong.

Miller recorded a second hole-in-one just 45 minutes and three holes later on the 177-yard No. 5 hole after hitting a seven-iron. He landed the ball about 6 feet from the pin and watched it roll in.

The odds of hitting two holes-in-one in the same round are 1 in 67 million, according to the National Hole in One Registry.

As if things couldn’t get any better for Miller, a 2020 Triway graduate, he won $5,000 for his second ace. Heartland Insurance sponsored a hole-in-one promotion for No. 5 that day.

“After I hit the second one, the group ahead on the No. 6 tee box saw it go in, and they yelled and threw their hands up in the air,” said Miller, whose scramble team also consisted of Adam Koontz, John Ciesielski and Stephanie Wenger. “I saw it drop and then ran over to my scramble partner John, and we did a chest bump.

“I don’t remember exactly what happened, but then I looked down at my seven-iron, and it was bent in half. I think I landed on it, or when I came back down to land, the pressure bent the shaft.”

After pulling off a feat he’ll always be remembered for around these parts, Miller said, “I’m totally OK that my iron broke.”

Both of Miller’s aces were witnessed by his team and golfers who were playing ahead of them.

Soon after both shots, Miller called his dad, Ryan.

“Both times I walked from the tee box to the hole just because I was so shocked,” Miller said. “I wanted to walk it off a little bit.

“After the second one, I said to my dad, ‘I don’t even know what’s happened?’ He goes, ‘I don’t even know what’s happened.’ And I said, ‘Well, I just hit another hole-in-one! This time for $5,000!’

“The second one was the craziest. It was just totally like I was on cloud nine after it happened. Like I just didn’t think it was real.”

Miller’s scramble team shot an 11-under score of 61. The winning team was 21-under.

“It was a full scramble with 36 teams,” Miller said. “We set up a team to have fun. We didn’t think we’d win it or anything like that.”

Miller, whose brother Zack is the senior quarterback for Triway, said he was about the No. 3 or 4 golfer for the Titans as a senior.

“I’ve gotten a lot better since high school,” said Miller, who’s a student at ATI and works for Arrowhead Outdoors. “Last year I played almost every day. This year I’m playing at least once a week, but I’m busier with work and school.”

Fortunately, Miller wasn’t too busy to pull off one of the rarest feats in golf. It’s an ultra-rare accomplishment he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

Culbertson fires albatross

The aforementioned winning scramble team that shot a 21-under consisted of Ryan Culbertson, his dad Ron Culbertson, Dan Rowe and Alvin Weirick.

Ryan Culbertson made an incredible shot that day too. He hit an albatross (aka double eagle) on the par-5 No. 13 hole, which was playing at 485 yards.

The odds of scoring an albatross are 6 million to 1.

Dan Rowe hit his driver 280 yards for the team’s best shot. Then playing from that spot, Ryan Culbertson blasted his hybrid club 205 yards for an albatross.

“The holes must have been bigger that day,” Culbertson joked, alluding to the fact Miller and he both recorded such rare feats in the same scramble.

“I’d never had an albatross or even seen one,” said the 38-year-old Culbertson, one of the area’s top players and a former Wooster High School and Akron standout. “When I walked toward the green, one of our other player’s balls was a little short of it. When I didn’t see mine, I thought it had gone over.

“Then I looked down into the hole and saw it. I immediately stopped, put my hands over my mouth and said, ‘It’s in the hole!’ They all came over and saw it, and then the celebration began.”

Culbertson has one hole-in-one to his credit.

Parting shots

It was great to have high school football return last Friday, and local teams enjoyed outstanding results.

Wayne County Athletic League teams went a combined 7-1 to lead the way. Teams in the Ohio Cardinal Conference went 5-3, and the Principals Athletic Conference was 3-5.

The most impressive win arguably went to Div. V Norwayne, which routed Div. II Ashland 61-28. The Arrows went just 3-7 last year while the Bobcats were 8-4.

Norwayne should be even better this year while the Arrows’ struggles look to be continuing.

—One of the strangest sites to see in week one came during West Holmes’ 41-7 win over Triway at Jack Miller Stadium. There was only one goal post standing because the other had been damaged during the derecho wind storm that hit the area June 14.

When teams scored a touchdown in the end zone without a goal post, they had to move to the other side to kick the PAT.

The Titans weren’t able to get a new goal post installed in time for the opener. They reportedly hope to have a new upright installed in time for this Friday’s game against Sparta Highland.

—Hopefully, readers are taking time to appreciate what the Cleveland Guardians are doing this summer. With a 64-56 record entering a road trip to San Diego and Seattle, Cleveland led the AL Central by two games and has a great shot of playing in the postseason.

One of my favorite players is outfielder Steven Kwan, who’s batting .301 and making a case to win AL Rookie of the Year. He’ll go head to head against the AL’s other leading ROY candidate this weekend — Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez.

Aaron Dorksen can be emailed at AaronDorksen24@gmail.com.