Archive for Thursday, August 23, 2001

KU’s Williams records first hole-in-one of life

August 23, 2001

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Roy Williams finally has his first hole-in-one.

Williams, Kansas University's 51-year-old men's basketball coach who has been playing golf for 33 years, used a pitching wedge Wednesday to ace the par-3, 127-yard No. 2 hole at Alvamar Country Club.

"I jumped around like a 7-year-old," Williams said of his reaction to his tee shot dropping 10 feet past the hole, then skipping back in.

Indeed, Williams who was playing with Alvamar pro Randy Towner and Ray Bob Carey, the father of KU senior forward Jeff Carey reacted as if he'd been pulled onto the court for his annual dance at Late Night With Roy Williams.

"He just jumped around and was uncontrollable for a few seconds," said Towner, a long-time buddy of Williams'. "It was exciting. It was perfect. It wasn't a lucky shot. It was skillful. It was neat."

Williams actually predicted somebody in the threesome would record an ace on a beautiful Wednesday morning.

"When we walked up to the tee, Randy said, 'This is the type of day you'd like to have a bucket of balls to hit.' I said, 'Somebody is going to make one today,''' Williams said.

"Randy hit, then Ray hit. I hit third because I was the only one who bogeyed the first hole. It hit 10 feet behind the flag. Randy said, 'Back up and go,' and it did. It was thrilling for me."

"He was really excited. He said, 'Finally!''' added Carey. "Really, it was a perfect shot. I've seen a lot of holes-in-one. I bet three-fourths of them were made on lousy shots that bounced the wrong way. I've seen few on really good shots. This was a perfect shot."

Williams was able to share the moment with wife Wanda shortly after making the ace.

"We stopped at his house on No. 6," Carey said of the sixth green. "Wanda brought us a Coke and some lemonade. He said, 'I've got something on this cart. I want you to look at this scorecard.' He had the '1' circled. She jumped up and down and thought it was neat."

Williams one of the best golfers in the college coaching ranks has long talked about his desire for an elusive ace.

"I thought I would," Williams said, believing the day would come he'd earn a hole-in-one. "I play 14 weeks a year. When I do play, I play hard.

"It only took me 33 years. I've been involved in (charity) tournaments with Tom Watson and have been able to make some putts. I've played some of the top courses in golf it's the most exciting thing (he's done)."

His hole-in-one was part of a 3-over-par round of 75.

After finishing, he phoned a few of his friends.

"You mean everybody?" Williams quipped.

"We take a group to North Carolina every year. One year we were sitting around the table and eight of the 12 guys had holes-in-one. Some had multiple holes-in-one. Since then, two more have had holes-in-one. I'm the 11th in the group.

Alvamar No. 2 has been lucky for Williams in the past. Former Seton Hall coach George Blaney once aced the same Alvamar CC hole while playing a round with Williams.

"I jumped around the same way. I was really excited for him," Williams said. "I've been with three guys who made holes-in-one in my group. I was really happy for all of them. I'd taken a lot of grief from my buddies."

Williams saved the golf ball and had Towner and Carey sign his scorecard.

He'll have the ball and scorecard framed for display in his house.

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