Herman nails rare ace at Smoky Hill
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
Hitting a hole-in-one as a 15-year-old high school golfer was something.
Nothing like his first one as an adult.
Now the ripe old age of 20, Trey Herman from Hays made history at Smoky Hill Country Club Tuesday.
Herman used a driver to send his ball 322 yards and into the cup on the par 4 No. 3 hole.
Matt Jacobs, the head golf professional at Smoky Hill, said it's the first hole-in-one on that particular hole on record dating back to 1973.
Smoky Hill opened in 1962, "but I can guarantee you with the technology back then, there's no way anyone could have hit a hole in one on that hole," Jacobs said.
Hitting into a gusty crosswind, Herman watched his ball go over a row of trees, then began making his way toward the hole.
As he and his golfing buddies neared the green, Herman said he thought he had an apology to make.
"These guys were yelling at us, and I thought I had hit my ball into them," Herman said.
He soon found out it was a yell of excitement, not anger.
Jim Fouts from Hays, golfing with three out-of-town guests, said his group was waiting to putt out on No. 3 when they heard the ball hit the fringe.
"It hit right in between a couple of us, and we looked around and thought, 'Who threw that? What's going on?' " Fouts said. "Then we watched it roll smoothly right into the cup. It was unbelievable."
A four-time Class 5A state qualifier at Hays High School, Herman finished in the top three at state twice and now is the No. 1 golfer for Fort Hays State University.
Herman was playing Tuesday with two former Tiger golfers, Tom O'Keefe and Markus Hilger, and finished his round with a one-over-par 72.
Herman is preparing for the Kansas Amateur qualifier next week at Garden City and golfs daily at Smoky Hill.
Word spread quickly about his latest rare accomplishment, and Herman was getting congratulated by many at his job this morning at Daylight Donuts in downtown Hays.
"It's pretty cool to say you hit one on a par 4. I couldn't believe it, still can't," said Herman, who couldn't stop smiling.
It's something golfers, and Hays residents in general, will be talking about for a long time, Jacobs said.
"He had to hit over a row of trees, over the pond and over bunkers to even get to the fringe," Jacobs said, who added that Herman's name now will forever be part of local golfing lore.
Herman's first hole-in-one came in the summer of 2008, on the 18th hole -- a par 3, 157-yarder.
"I consider myself a pretty decent golfer, and I've never had a hole in one," the 30-year-old Jacobs said. "Half of the golfers on the (pro tour) haven't hit a hole in one. To be that young and have two (holes-in-one) is amazing."