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News from the course

Ace in hole: Walker sinks first tee shot in high school match

Belfast Area High School student-athlete fit to be teed at Rockland Golf Course
By Zack Miller | Sep 18, 2019
Courtesy of: James Ritter Belfast's Tommy Walker holds the ball he used to ace the fifth hole at the Rockland Golf Course on Sept. 17 in a high school match between the Lions and host Medomak Valley of Waldoboro.

Rockland — Tommy Walker stepped to the tee box on the 136-yard, par-3 fifth hole at the Rockland Golf Course on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 17 with his pitching wedge in hand.

The Belfast Area High School golfer laid the ball on the grass, set his feet and swung as he had hundreds of times before, but this swing was different.

The swing was sweet, in sync, straight and true, and the ball followed suit, as it flew through the air and found its way into the hole for Walker's first ace in only his sixth time playing the course.

With that accurate tee shot, Walker aced the short hole playing in a regular-season match against host Medomak Valley of Waldoboro — one in which the Lions won 6.5 to 2.5.

With the help of the single digit on that one hole, Walker finished at 45 for the par-36 nine holes and won his individual match.

For those who have played RGC, the fifth hole can give one anxiety, since it lies parallel to busy Rt. 17, and a single hook can cause one's wallet to lighten, as property damage to the houses across the street, or a passing vehicle, can — and have — happened, often.

None of that fazed Walker — a junior at BAHS — who now has the joy of a hole-in-one on his golf resumé, which spans to seventh grade when he first picked up a club.

"It felt amazing, but I didn’t see the ball go in," said Walker, who hit a Srixon ball. "[When] I walked up and saw the ball in the hole, I was speechless. I couldn’t come up with anything [to say]. My blood pressure rose and I didn’t know what to say.

"Me and [teammate] Casey [Balicki] were both in shock, and he’s taller than me and he saw the ball disappear in the hole, but I didn’t think it went in. When we got up there we were both surprised to see the ball had gone in."

Walker — whose best 18 and nine hole scores are 78 and 36, respectively, at his home course of the Northport Golf Club — had come close to a hole-in-one before at RGC, when his ball landed four-feet from the pin on the ninth hole, also a par 3, at a difficult distance of 215 yards.

Tuesday's ace not only was Walker's first, but helped in his team's match against Medomak Valley of Waldoboro.

"It was quite the feeling, honestly," said Walker. "I won my match on that hole and on that shot. It gave me a lot of momentum going into the playoffs. I’m still feeling like my irons are hot and giving me a lot of confidence for the shots I’ll be taking in the playoffs.

"My team has given me all of my confidence. Seeing them swing the clubs, and the top two of James [Ritter] and Thomas [Parker], has helped me up my game. They’ve given me pointers and helped me up my game and helped make the game fun."

With the league playoffs, as well as other postseason tournaments, on-deck, there is only one thing, for Walker, that could top the hole-in-one.

"A state title for the team," said Walker. "That would be better in my opinion and the cherry on top [of the season]."

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