A one-armed Canadian amateur golfer left many pros impressed after he shot a hole-in-one during a PGA Tour event on Thursday.
Laurent Hurtubise of Quebec was playing as an amateur and made the 151-yard shot on the par-3 fourth hole in the Tour’s American Express 2020, during the tournament’s opening round.
Hurtubise was born with one arm, which ends just below the elbow, and started playing golf at age 11.
He told the Desert Sun in 2018 that he got into sports as a way to fit in with other kids in his small town outside of Montreal.
“As a kid, sports was a way for me to prove that even though I had a difference, that I could perform as well as normal people — as they call them,” he said. “People have differences and handicaps and whatever, but it was my way to prove that I could be as good as everybody else.”
Hurtubise started with hockey, saying he’d hold the stick under his right arm and use his good arm – his left – to shoot. He also was a catcher for a baseball team and would catch the ball, put the glove under his arm, take his hand out and use it to throw the ball, before putting his glove back on “all in about a second.”
Golf was the next sport he took on and ended up becoming an addiction of sorts, he said.
During the follow-through of a full one-handed, left swing, his other arm comes into play as it touches the club, the Sun reports. Hurtubise uses a 6-iron from 150-160 yards out and said he hits his drive about 230 yards.
Greg Chalmers, a professional player who was part of the same group as Hurtubise this week when he made the hole-in-one, praised him for the “incredible shot.”
“It was one of those shots where you always thought, hang on – this could go in here,” he told the PGA.
“It landed around the front of the green and we were all watching it closely as it tracked toward the hole and then bang, it disappeared.”
Video posted by the PGA shows numerous players including Hurtubise cheering, before the amateur player tosses his hat in the air. Several players then come up to give him high fives before he picks up his hat and goes to grab his ball.
Troy Merritt, Hurtubise’s partner in the tournament and a three-time PGA Tour winner, couldn’t believe the shot.
“That was the coolest experience I’ve had on the golf course,” he said.
Hurtubise said he’s had opportunities to speak with amputees and people born without both arms, as well as people at Shriner’s hospital, about overcoming disability.
“It does feel fulfilling when someone tells me they’ve been inspired to play a sport because of me,” he said in 2018.
Hurtubise has played in previous PGA events, having competed in the first three rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge in 2018.