With video: Scott Brown follows 7 with a 1 for first ace in AREA 3-1-3
Detroit — Scott Brown said he couldn't make anything on the greens.
Maybe the problem was he was using the putter.
Brown, 38, made a hole-in-one at the par-3 15th hole during Friday's second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club. It was the first ace made at the AREA 3-1-3 par 3 in the tournament's three-year history, and triggered a $25,000 charitable donation from the title sponsor to its chief initiative to end the Detroit digital divide by 2025.
It was the third ace in the tournament's history. Ollie Schniederjans and Ryan Armour aced the par-3 fifth hole in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Brown's hole-in-one came immediately after he doubled the par-5 14th hole, making for a six-shot difference between one hole and the next.
"It was good," Brown said. "I just came off a double off the par 5, so I kind of had my head between my (tail).
"It was the perfect 9 iron for me, took off and never left. I think it one-hopped in.
"We couldn't really see it, but the crowd went well."
Since the tournament's first year, Rocket Mortgage has offered a $313,000 charitable donation — half to the charity of the player's choice, half to the tournament's charities — for any player who could go 3-1-3 (eagle-ace-birdie) on Nos. 14, 15 and 16 at any point in the tournament.
Brown has the hard part out of the way, but didn't immediately know after his round Friday if he'd get the chance to complete the improbable feat.
After a 1-under 71 on Friday, he was 3 under for the tournament, right on the cut line as the afternoon wave of players began their rounds. The cut line held up, so he'll get his cracks Saturday and Sunday.
Two other players have the eagle on 14 and birdie on 16, Vicent Whaley and Sean O'Hair, and made the cut.
In addition to $25,000 for an ace on 15, Rocket Mortgage donates $5,000 for every eagle on No. 14 and birdie on No. 16. Last year, that totaled $385,000 of the nearly $3 million the tournament raised for charity.
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