An eagle is magnificent but an albatross is unimaginable. Heck, for me a birdie is an accomplishment.
However, Barry Alexander, of Columbia, Ill., while playing at the Acorns Golf Links in Waterloo, scored a rare feat in golf most only dream about.
The 58-year-old became the first player to ever leave the Acorns with an albatross. Playing the par 5 13th hole, measuring 465 yards from the white tees, Alexander made a double-eagle 2 when his 5-iron from 165 yards rolled into the cup. Known in golf terms as an albatross — the double eagle is the first recorded at The Acorns.
"Now I can say that I’d done it all—at least once," says Alexander, who recorded his only hole-in-one in 1994 at the Orchards in Belleville.
Playing in a foursome with good friends Dave Wieties, Ed Tabash and Rick Jett, Alexander stepped up to the 13th tee with a driver in hands and history awaiting.
Alexander’s reaction? "My partners were jumping up and down I was more in shock than anything. I didn’t know how to react.’’
Senior PGA Championship
The recent major held at Bellerive Country Club was an unqualified success.
Kohki Idoki stroked home a two-footer for par on the 18th green and then waved his cap in appreciation to a gallery that was as equally mesmerized by the performance of the humble man from Japan.
It was Idoki’s first trip to the United States, a journey that evolved into a storybook ending to the 74th Senior PGA Championship.
The 51-year-old was given a beer shower by fellow competitors Kiyoshi Murota and Joe Ozaki, who is Idoki’s mentor. Through an interpreter, Idoki had this to say: "I cannot believe it. It is one of the greatest things to win in this game, so I cannot imagine more. I can’t believe that I am the champion."
Berkmeyer wins Normandie
Skip Berkmeyer won a three-way playoff with Phil Caravia and Buddy Allen to capture the Normandie Amateur.
Berkmeyer birdied the first hole at Normandie Golf Club for the victory. The three golfers finished the two-day event at 1-under 141 for the 35-holes.
"It’s just great to win," Berkmeyer says. "It’s been a while to get one in the win column."
He last won Normandie two years ago.
High school boys golf
The Marquette Mustangs made history with the best finish in school history in high school boys golf.
The Mustangs finished third in the Class 4 state tournament at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield. It was a big accomplishment for coach Eric Schweain and his squad.
Timberland won the state tournament with a two-day total of 619. Rockhurst was second at 621 and Marquette followed at 628.
MICDS won the Class 3 state tournament held at the Sedalia Country Club. MICDS finished with a team total of 617. That was three strokes better than runner-up Cape Girardeau Notre Dame.
In Class 2, Lutheran St. Charles won at Freemont Hills Country Club in Springfield. The Cougars shot a 145, to finish 16 strokes ahead of Lamar.
In Class 1, Barat Academy shot a 155 to win at Silo Ridge Country Club in Bolivar. The Eagles won by 22 strokes.
Junior girls golf
Kansas again has held onto the Missouri junior girls state championship. Jean Tyrrell, of Leawood, Kan., won the 54th Missouri Women’s Golf Association Junior Championship with a two-round total of 152 on rounds of 75 and 77. Defending champion Jordan Chael, of Overland Park, Kan., was a stroke behind in second at 153.
Kudos to recent Westminster Christian Academy grad Brooke Cusumano, who came in third at 156. Cusumano is the defending two-time Missouri Class 1 state champion. She’ll be playing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Earlier this month, two local teenage golfers took part in the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy’s First Tee Training Program at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Ryan Fitzgerald and Jabarri Quarles were chosen to take part in the event. Both youngsters are 17. Fitzgerald goes to CBC and has been in the First Tee program since 2009. Quarles goes to Lafayette and has been in the program since 2010.
The two were among 50 teen golfers taking part in the program. Participants submitted applications that included essays and golf resumes for review and were ultimately selected by the Hank Haney/First Tee review board.
Heading into its 16th year, The First Tee is a national youth development organization providing character education and life skills through the game of golf.
The University of Missouri-St. Louis men’s golf team dropped a best-of-five match play to Barry University 4-1 in one of four quarterfinal contests at the recent 2013 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship at the 71-par, 6,984-yard Hershey Country Club in Hershey, Pa.
The Tritons wrap up the 2012-13 season, finishing tied for fifth place at the NCAA Championship, marking the best finish in program history.
The 20th Friends of Betty Schildroth Golf Tournament will be held July 14 at the Golf Club of Florissant. This event benefits the hospice program at Mercy Hospital and has raised some $125,000 for patients who can’t afford in home hospice care.
The cost is $340 per foursome and it includes golf, cart, a light breakfast, beverages, lunch, grab bag, attendance prizes and a T-shirt. Tee time is 8 a.m. The deadline for entries is July 1. Former St. Louis Blues defenseman Bob Plager is the honorary chairman for the tournament. For more information, call 839-2927 or visit bettysboys.com.
On a personal note, I play in this tournament and have for many years when it was held in Lebanon and Springfield, Ill., before coming back to St. Louis. It is a well-run event and the cause is worthy.
Well, that does it for this month. If you have any golf news or a suggestion about something to write about, contact me at email@example.com. Until next month, keep the ball in the fairway.