Clay Feagler is a
sophomore for the Pepperdine's men's golf team and last week he achieved an
amazing feat, getting two holes-in-one on back-to-back days at the Royal Oaks
Intercollegiate. He tells us about this incredible experience:
Q: At your recent tournament you had two holes-in-one. How was that whole experience?
A: This tournament was different for us because we usually don't get to play with our teammates but this one we did get to. That added with each of my holes-in-one was amazing. Since it was my team with me everyone got hyped and started giving high-fives and dogpiling me. It still hasn't sunk in yet that I actually did that.
Q: Take me through your first hole-in-one (during Monday's first round). What did it feel like?
A: It was in the first round, the third hole of the day, a 195-yarder. My coach and I were talking about where to hit it. Then I hit the shot and it was right at the pin so I didn't know if it was going to get there or not. It hit the green, kicked left, then fed right straight into the hole. I was just like, "Whoa." I didn't know what to think but I threw my club up in the air then my teammates rushed and started high-fiving me. It was so cool.
Q: How about the second hole in one (during Tuesday's third round). Was there anything different?
A: This one was during the final round on my fourth hole of the day. I was the first one to hit on the tee so I had no idea what club to hit or how to hit it. So my coach and I decided it was best to go with a 7-iron. It was 179 yards. I hit the shot and this time it was looking really good, it felt more pure than the first one. It hit right on the green and rolled into the hole. It was cool this time because the Michigan coach and team were there so they all congratulated me along with my teammates getting hyped. It was so cool to be there with my team since we are basically brothers and to make a hole-in-one, let alone two, which is just unspeakable.
Q: How many other holes-in-one have you made?
A: I got one when I was 10, which was so long ago that the golf course I got it on doesn't even exist anymore. My dad has made three, so after I got my first one of the tournament he texted me saying, "You are still one behind me." So when I made the next one he said, "Wow, we are tied now." I've had a couple close calls but could never even imagine getting two at one tournament.
Q: How was the rest of your tournament?
A: I ended shooting 5-over-par with a 76 (in the first round), which isn't great. Through the rest of the round I was still a little caught off-guard after making a hole-in-one since I was still shocked. It almost made it harder to keep playing since I had all this energy and my heart was still racing from sinking it that stayed with me through the rest of that round. The second round I shot a 67 and I felt like I bounced back. Then in the final round I had experience on the course from the other rounds so I knew how to play it but the conditions were pretty poor. But I did end up making the other hole-in-one that day so that was really cool.
Q: What were the practices like leading up to this? Was there anything special?
A: It was a just some pretty regular practices leading up. It was just the normal hitting with certain clubs and hitting different flights. We prepared ourselves for what can happen in a competitive atmosphere.
Q: Overall how would you say the tournament went for your team?
A: We finished sixth. We haven't really been playing up to what we usually play to. But last year was pretty similar and we ended up finding it in the spring and making it to the NCAA Championships, which I hope happens again, and I feel like it's going to. This was really a fun week for our whole team, especially me, since for all that to happen was unreal and the addition of being with my team was great.
Q: What's it like with Pepperdine's coaches and your teammates now that it's your second year?
A: It has been great. Last year I didn't know everyone at the start but this year I am good friends with all the guys, which makes the whole experience more enjoyable. Our coach is a great guy. He helps us with everything, even with school. I feel we have a really good group of guys because we can talk to each other about anything and that they genuinely care about how you are doing.
Q: Last year you achieved All-WCC first team honors. Do you have goals for like that for this year?
A: If I were to answer that a month or two ago I would say my goal is to be player of the year. But now I am just trying to improve my game and get better every day. It would be definitely be cool to be first team again but I am not focusing on that. That would just be an added bonus to me improving my game.
Q: How would you say you adjusted from the high school golf scene to college?
A: In high school you are only playing one team while in college we are playing 15 different teams at once. It is much more team-oriented versus high school. Now I have realized just how much each shot I take counts for my team. But I definitely adjusted better this year and now know more of what to do on the course and how to prevent bad scores. After I learned how to cope with school and golf everything has been much better.