WATERVILLE – There was nobody more pleased about his round of golf Wednesday than Bangor’s Tom Caron.
Caron strolled off the 18th hole beaming, and it wasn’t because of his round of 72. Caron made his first career hole-in-one during the second round of the Maine Amateur Championship at the Waterville Country Club.
His 7-iron offering on the 190-yard sixth hole rolled into the cup, delivering him every golfer’s dream shot.
“It’s surreal,” Caron said. “It’s my first one ever.”
It has likelybeen at least a decade since an ace was recorded in the Maine Amateur, but Maine State Golf Association officials could not recall when the last one occurred.
Caron, who works in the advertising department at the Bangor Daily News, asked if he could get his scorecard back to save as a memento. When his hole-by-hole score was registered into a computer, it came up as a 14 before it was corrected manually.
“All I could do was think that I can’t wait to tell my family,” Caron said. “The whole way around, that’s all I wanted to do. I wanted to get this round over with and go tell someone. I felt no matter what happens from here on in, I’ve got a memory to live on.”
Caron’s day actually didn’t have such a glorious start. He double-bogeyed the first hole and was struggling.
“On the first shot of the day, I hit the ball out of bounds,” Caron said. “I went to that (sixth) hole 2-over par and hit a 7-iron right at the flag. It took a hop and rolled for a short distance and disappeared.”
Caron and his playing partners celebrated. Gorham’s Patrick Taber and Minot’s Keegan Fennessy were in his group.
Caron says he came close to an ace as a teenager while playing at Wilson Lake in Wilton. He says he’s been playing golf for about 23 years.
“I hit the hole and it broke the cup, but it didn’t stay in the hole,” said Caron. “It stayed on the the lip.”
Such a memorable moment can easily disrupt a round, but Caron regrouped and finished with mostly pars. Caron shot a 73 Tuesday in the first round and parred the par-3 sixth hole.
“Initially, it was hard,” he said. “The first tee after that hole was a little crazy, but after that, I kind of settled back down and finished up.”
He even prompted more excitement on a par-3 on the back nine.
“At the next par-3, I hit it right at the flag again and everybody was like ‘Go in the hole again’ and it went right in the bunker.”
He managed to save the ball used on the seventh hole, even though he didn’t put it away for safe keeping right away.
“Usually people just put the ball in the bag and not use it again,” said Caron. “I didn’t even think twice. I kept using it all day long and didn’t lose it.”