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McKnight, 57, makes first ace at Florence Golf Links after 30 years of golfing

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Canby's Carl McKnight made his first hole-in-one on Monday, July 29 at Florence Golf Links.

Walking up to the 17th hole against a strong wind, Carl McKnight remembered the advice he received at the Florence Golf Links pro shop.

"He said to hit more than you're used to and this is what I had in my bag," recalled McKnight, holding a 4-hybrid. "I would have used a 5-iron, but it's a tough course and the wind is up and it's a Par 3 dead into the wind over a lake. You have to hit it well or you'll be wet."

But McKnight, a 57-year-old winemaker at St. Josef's Winery in Canby, did not only get his ball over the lake but 176 yards directly into the hole.

"I got lucky," said McKnight of making his first hole-in-one on Monday, July 29 after playing golf for 30 years.

McKnight was in Florence with his two sons, both students at the University of Utah, for one last outing before they went back to school.

"They would say I'm the luckiest golfer alive," McKnight said. "They couldn't believe it. They were more aghast than I was."

McKnight, who plays golf at least once or twice a month, said he had been close to making a hole-in-one before. About 10 years ago, McKnight was playing in a charity event at Langdon Farms Golf Club in Aurora.

"They were giving away a Lexus and I hit the pin and it (the ball) went out," McKnight said. "It just didn't stay in (the hole)."

The odds of an average golfer making a hole-in-one are 12,000-1, according to the National Hole-In-One Registry.

Visiting the Oregon coast for three days, McKnight said he planned to play other courses, but decided to return to Florence Golf Links Tuesday after making the hole-in-one.

"It's a great course, McKnight said. "Especially now."

Derek Wiley
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