June 8, 2009
By JERRY HILL
Baylor Bear Insider
Between food poisoning, a dislocated shoulder and frustration on the golf course, sophomore Morgan Chambers had the kind of spring she would just as soon forget.
But in one sweet five-hole swing at her home course in Purcell, Okla., the 21-year-old Chambers put all those troubles behind her.
Chambers recorded her first career hole-in-one on the first shot of the day, hitting a choke-down 9-iron on the 110-yard, par-3 10th at Brent Bruehl Memorial Golf Course, and then completed an "unbelievable" stretch with another ace on the 14th.
After waiting eight years for her first, Chambers had to wait all of four holes for her second.
"I hit it, and it was going right at it," said Chambers, who used a 54-degree wedge for her second hole-in-one. "It landed maybe three feet short of the pin and just right of it, took one hop and spun left and landed in. Both of them did the exact same thing. And I was like, `What?' I couldn't believe it. The two ladies that I was playing with, they both went crazy. I was like, `No, that did not just happen.'''
Chambers capped off a frustrating spring by tying for 98th in a 107-player field at the NCAA West Regional in Tempe, Ariz., shooting 24-over-par 240. After a respectable 77.5-stroke average in the fall that included a pair of top-20 finishes, she averaged 80.5 in the spring and struggled with one setback after another.
"The spring was like the most unlucky thing for me ever," she said. "We went to Los Angeles, and I got food poisoning on the way out there. So I spent the first two days, including the practice round, laying in bad. I made it out for all three rounds, but it was awful. It was so bad, the last hole is really hilly, and a girl that I was playing with from Stanford had to carry my bag up the hill for me. I was just crawling around that golf course."
That just set the tone for the whole spring. Before the next tournament, Chambers dislocated her shoulder in a weight-room workout and then tied for 35th at the Baylor Invitational at Twin Rivers Golf Club.
When she returned home after the regional tournament, Chambers took a couple lessons with teaching pro Greg Warren from Edmond, Okla., and had played twice. But she was just out on the course practicing on May 20 when Beth Brock and Cathy Pack asked her to join them for a few holes.
"I was supposed to go meet my parents for dinner, so I just told them I would play a couple of holes with them," Chambers said.
Playing at the forward tees that she's unfamiliar with, Chambers didn't even know the distance on the par-3 10th hole. But her knock-down 9-iron shot landed on the green, one-hopped and disappeared, she said.
"Usually when I hit them that pure, it goes over the green," she said. "There's a chipping area over there, and there were two guys over there that started yelling. I thought maybe one of them had chipped in. I had no idea. But they came over and were like, `Yeah, it hopped in the hole.' So I get up there and was like, `Oh, it is my ball. It's in the hole.'''
Through the first four holes, Chambers was just 1-under, bogeying the 12th and parring the other two holes.
Ignoring hole-in-one etiquette, Chambers kept her ball in play instead of putting it away and nearly lost it on the next hole.
"(The 11th) is kind of a dogleg, and I was just messing around, so I tried to hit a 3-wood and go over the trees to get on the green," she said. "And I thought I lost the ball, but I ended up finding it."
After the 13th, she got a call from her mom and thought about leaving early for dinner. But she decided to stay for one more hole, a short par-3 that was playing just 90 yards from an elevated tee box.
The same two guys were watching from the chipping area and saw her ball hit once and disappear in the hole. Everyone, including Chambers, had the same reaction: Not again. Are you kidding me?
According to Golf Digest, the odds of a player making two holes-in-one in the same round are 67 million-to-1.
When she called her brother, Nathan, after the first one, his comeback was, "It's about time." An incoming freshman at the University of Oklahoma, Nathan had already made two holes-in-one in his playing career.
But when she sent out a mass text message to the rest of her family after the second one, Nathan called her back and said, "I don't believe you. It's a lie. I don't even believe you about the first one now."
Chambers is spending the first summer session at Baylor before returning home to play in some tournaments. But she hopes her defy-the-odds round - Chambers left after shooting 3-under 32 for nine holes - will lead to even better things for her junior season.
Ironically, the one thing that Chambers said she needs to work on is her short game.
"When it's on, I'm playing awesome," said Chambers, who used the same ball for both holes-in-one. "When it's not, you're struggling."