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Aaron Rai took advantage of some beneficial pin placement on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday.
The English golfer knocked an ace for the 41st hole-in-one in PLAYERS Championship history.
It was also the first hole-in-one of his career.
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Aaron Rai of England reacts to a par putt on the eighth green during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on March 2, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Hayden Buckley drilled a hole-in-one of his own on Thursday. He was just the sixth person to tee up on the hole in the tournament.
Buckley went wild after his ace, but Rai played it cool, simply raising his arms in the air and high-fiving spectators along the joyous walk to the cup.
"Insane. It's such a blur," Rai told the NBC broadcast after his round. "To see it disappear and my caddie running to me, it's something I'll always remember."
He did give his caddie quite the celebratory bearhug, though.
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The ace suddenly put Rai into legitimate contention, putting him at eight-under for the tournament, tied for seventh. He then birdied 18 to finish his day tied for fourth at -9.
He became the first golfer in PLAYERS history to finish his round with birdie-ace-birdie, according to the broadcast, shooting a 31 on the back-nine.
Rai has six professional wins under his belt, but none yet on the PGA Tour. (He does have two victories on the DP Tour, aka the European Tour.)
Aaron Rai of England plays his shot on the fourth green of the South Course during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course on January 26, 2023, in La Jolla, California. (Olando Ramirez/Getty Images)
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Rai finished T18 in the 2021 PLAYERS, his last appearance in the tournament. He's mostly known for wearing two gloves instead of the usual one, but now, he has another claim to fame.
M.W. Lee leads the way at -13, while Scottie Scheffler trails him by a stroke.
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