Tour Rookie Stefani Scores Ace, Makes Merion History

Related Links: Merion: Big Things, Small Packages | Complete U.S. Open Coverage

Shawn Stefani finished at 19 over par at the U.S. Open, good enough for 59th place. On Saturday, he fired a not-so-blistering 15-over 85.

Thankfully, the PGA Tour rookie ended his first U.S. Open experience on a high note.

Stefani scored a hole-in-one on the 229-yard, par-3 17th with a 4-iron during Sunday’s final round. It was the first ace during a U.S. Open played at Merion (2013 was the fifth time the course hosted the tournament). How he did it, however, sure was something to watch.

We could describe the shot in detail to you, but it’s better if you see it for yourself:

Here’s our breakdown:

The Swing
It’s true that no two golf swings are the same. Stefani’s takeaway is very … deliberate. It also seems to come from the Jim Furyk school of swinging a golf club, which has been described as an “octopus falling out of a tree.”

The Bounce
This has to be one of the best kicks in the history of golf. Stefani’s ball ricocheted off the perfect spot on the hill, and instead of getting hung up in the thick stuff it bounded down the short slope and onto the green.

The Roll
Someone needs to check to see if that golf ball is legal because that thing seemed to have some sort of guidance system aboard. The hole was the target and that dimpled little sphere was heading straight to it.

The Celebration
Hands down, this was one of the best hole-in-one celebrations we’ve ever seen. Stefani and his caddie jumped around like two guys cheering after their favorite football team won a playoff game.

A lot of touring pros opt for the “silent celebration” after making an ace. They smile, high-five their caddie and their playing partner, and acknowledge the crowd. That’s it. Stefani let his emotions run wild. We loved it.

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