It was raining aces at the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol on moving day and the downpour was nearly record-setting. Playing in the first group of the day, 2019 U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 holed out with a 50 degree wedge from 97 yards, earning $20,000 for the CME Group Cares Challenge - Score 1 for St. Jude. A few hours later in back-to-back groups, Epson Tour graduate Lilia Vu and Malaysia’s Kelly Tan matched Lee6’s hole-in-one with aces of their own, using the same club – a 50 degree wedge.
The record for most holes-in-one in a single round is four from the first round of the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic; the most aces in a single tournament came at the 1999 Mercury Titleholders Championship where six were carded. The three recorded during Saturday’s third round at Aviara Golf Club ties the 2014 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic first round, 1999 Mercury Titleholders Championship third round and 1997 Los Angeles Women's Championship second round for most in a single 18 holes.
It was the first ace for Lee6 in any LPGA Tour competition and the Korean had her mom on-site to see it, making the memorable moment even more special. It was also Vu’s first hole-in-one during a tournament – she’s had one during a pro-am – and after what’s been a stressful week of getting her distances figured out, the eagle was a sigh of relief for the UCLA alum.
“This whole week I've been having trouble dialing it back so I was practicing on the range yesterday trying to get that 95, 100 number down because I just keep flying it over past ten yards,” said Vu who carded the low round of the day with her 7-under 65. “I looked at my caddie and I said, ‘I think we got this. We practiced enough. We had 95, 100 yards every single day this week.’ So I just did it and it was early in the morning and then it caught the back stop and then it came back into the hole.”
Tan’s last hole-in-one came in 2020, but it wasn’t in a tournament. Today’s marks her first competitive ace and Kelly was even happier to card a one on the third, her favorite hole at Aviara Golf Club. “It's a beautiful hole,” she said. “We had 87 meters which made it a perfect number for my gap wedge, 50 degree. I just hit a beautiful shot on the perfect line and it was cool to see one bounce over and suck it back and went in the hole.”
$60,000 will be contributed to the CME Group Cares Challenge - Score 1 for St. Jude raising the 2022 season total to $140,000.