WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The crowd surrounding the 18th green told Bud Cauley his tee shot was special.
Cauley wrapped up his weekend at the Greenbrier Classic with a hole-in-one—his first on the PGA Tour—that won $100 for every fan in the grandstands.
“It looked good in the air and I thought it was going to be pretty close,” said the 24-year-old former University of Alabama golfer. “But you never think they’re going in, so that was a nice little surprise.”
And Cauley was a surprise himself Sunday, shooting a 6-under 64 to climb into contention at 9-under for the tournament. His 7-iron on the 175-yard finishing hole was quite a capper.
Officials decided on a back-right pin placement on No. 18, protecting the hole with the notorious hump that divides the green.
“It’s tough over there—probably the most difficult one all week,” he said. “So that’s less that I have to putt.”
Cauley had ended Saturday’s round by leaving a potential ace six inches short. This time he was dead-solid perfect.
As Cauley plucked the ball out of the cup, course security guards roped off the grandstands and prepared to pay the lucky viewers. Greenbrier resort owner Jim Justice had announced a jackpot promotion in which the first hole-in-one on No. 18 paid the $100 to fans in the amphitheater surrounding the green. The second would bring $500 per fan and a third would be worth $1,000 each.
“I actually just found that out,” Cauley said. “I’m happy to help everybody out, including myself.”