LOS ANGELES • One-armed Canadian amateur golfer Laurent Hurtubise made a stunning hole-in-one at the PGA Tour's American Express in La Quinta, California.
The amazing ace at the 151-yard fourth hole of the PGA West's Stadium Course took place during Thursday's opening round and delighted PGA players and Hurtubise, who swings with his left arm. He was born with a right arm that ends just below his elbow.
The Montreal native, who has played in the California desert event multiple times, holed a 60-yard shot in 2018 and has made three aces since he started playing golf at age 11.
"As a kid, sports was a way for me to prove that, even though I had a difference, I could perform as well as normal people... as they call them," he told the Desert Sun after his feat in the pro-am competition.
"People have differences and handicaps and whatever, but it was my way to prove that I could be as good as everybody else.
"It does feel fulfilling when someone tells me they have been inspired to play a sport because of me."
Australian left-hander Greg Chalmers was playing in the group with Hurtubise and said the 61-year-old made several impressive shots during his round.
"He hit the shot and it was a nice little cut for a leftie. Right away we sort of said 'Sit down' but it was one of those shots where you always thought, 'Hang on - this could go in'," Chalmers said of the ace.
"It landed around the front of the green and we were all watching it closely as it tracked toward the hole and then bang, it disappeared.
"We all went up in celebration and Laurent went ballistic. It was an incredible shot. He's as cool as a cucumber. It was unreal."
Chalmers also recalled playing at last month's Australian Open, with the Australian All Abilities Championship played alongside. Able-bodied golfers and those with disabilities played off the same tees.
"I saw some incredible golf back home with some of the best players from the world rankings for golfers with a disability and Laurent sure showed some of the same sort of skills out there," he said.