Another day at DGC, another ace: Watch Rory Sabbatini take a bow

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — Wearing the bucket hat, Rory Sabbatini went buckets.

Sabbatini, a longtime PGA Tour player, made a hole-in-one at the signature par-3 15th early in Friday's second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.

It was the second ace in as many days, after Mark Hubbard made one at the par-3 11th hole Thursday. It was the sixth ace in Rocket Mortgage Classic history, and the second at the 15th.

Playing 162 yards, Sabbatini hit his approach right at the stick, where it hit about 20 feet short of the hole and rolled right into the bottom of the cup. Sabbatini raised his arms, turned around and bowed the modest early arriving gallery in AREA 313 before high-fiving his fellow playing competitors and the caddies.

A man who once got into a heated confrontation with a player competitor over slow play, well, an ace is one way to improve the pace of play.

This one triggered a $,000 charitable donation from the tournament's title sponsor, and put Sabbatini in contention to trigger a larger one for $313,000 should he make a 3 (eagle) on the par-5 14th hole and a 3 (birdie) on the par-4 16th at any other point in the tournament. Sabbatini had yet to do either of those through his first two rounds, but will get a crack at it on the weekend. After a par-72 on Friday (the ace on his first nine was offset by three bogeys for a 37), Sabbatini, 46, was at 3 under, and made the cut on the number.

After Hubbard and Sabbatini, previous aces at the Rocket include Ollie Schniederjans (2019) and Ryan Armour (2020) at the fifth, Troy Merritt (2021) at the 11th and Scott Brown (2021) at the 15th.

The ninth hole at DGC is the only par 3 that hasn't been aced in tournament play, unfortunate given it always draws the biggest gallery with a public grandstand behind the green.

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tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984