Craig an ace on par-4 holes |

Craig an ace on par-4 holes

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

During the past week Kenny Craig experienced the ultimate thrill in golf and the frustrating side of the game that reduces some to consider another sport.

Last Thursday, the 16-year-old South Lake Tahoe resident aced the second hole at Tahoe Paradise Golf Course. It was no ordinary ace, in that Craig holed his 5-iron tee shot measuring 225 yards.

It was the second time he aced a par-4 hole at Tahoe Paradise.

“That’s the first time I’ve played the course in two years,” said Craig, whose other career hole-in-one was on the 260-yard 12th hole with a 3-wood in 2000.

But on Monday and Tuesday, Craig met the match of his golfing life. During a junior tournament at The Bridges in the Bay Area, Craig grew weary of reloading off the tee.

“It was crazy how hard it was. It was by far the hardest course I’ve ever played,” Craig said.

Fairways were lined with canyons, so errant tee shots routinely meant taking a penalty and hitting an additional shot from the tee.

“You hit a bad tee shot and you automatically get a double bogey,” Craig said. “I don’t think the pros play a course that hard. They hit a bad drive, they’re in the trees and they punch it out. Here, if you hit a bad drive, you’re on the tee hitting three.”

Craig shot rounds of 94 and 90 to finish sixth in the division for 16- and 17-year-olds.

Previously this summer, Craig’s best showing was a 78 at Monarch Bay in San Leandro, Calif.

As for his latest hole-in-one, Craig didn’t know of his good fortune until he neared the elevated green and a player from the next tee told him.

“I just thought it was going to be on the green,” Craig said.

Craig hopes golf can further his education some day.

“I’m just trying to get to college with golf,” said the home-schooler. “I want to enjoy it right now as I can.”

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