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PGN Q & Ace: Delaney Kern, Junior Tour & High School Competitor

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Delaney Kern displays the ball from her first hole-in-one on June 23 at Shannopin CC. (TRI-STATE PGA)

Tiger Woods has 20 of them. My grandpa had eight.

For most of us, though, earning a hole-in-one is an achievement that’s singular, or at least not too far into the plural.

PGN recognizes this and would like to honor those of you who have experienced the joy of writing a ‘1’ on your scorecard, whether that be recent, or many years ago. (Not that I speak from experience. I’m still in search of my first ace in close to 25 years of play.)

In addition to setting up a special Hole-In-One Honor Roll on our site, we’ll also be picking the brains of you sharp-shooters out there in a regular feature we’re calling the PGN Q & Ace!

Our first interview subject is Delaney Kern, a rising junior at Peters Township High School who recently recorded her first hole-out from the tee … and it came in a Tri-State PGA Isaly’s Junior Tour event to boot.

On June 23, on the 111-yard seventh hole at Shannopin Country Club in Ben Avon Heights, Kern pulled off the feat with a pitching wedge en route to an 86 and a T-7 finish in the girls’ 16-18 age division.

PGN: Can you describe the shot and what you thought as it approached the hole?

Kern: I was just hoping not to go in one of the numerous bunkers. I knew it was good when I hit it. Then I saw the ball was heading toward the pin. It took a slight bounce then rolled in the hole.

PGN: What was the moment like after it went in?

Kern: I was in shock after the ball went in. I saw it go in, however I was in disbelief. The girls in my group were excited for me. It really did not hit me until I picked the ball out of the hole!

PGN: How did you get focused back on the competition after all the excitement?

Kern: I was still beaming with excitement on the following hole. I managed to get my act together and drain a putt for birdie.

PGN: How do you feel the summer is going for you on the course?

Kern: My summer tournaments are picking up and I am excited for the next two months. I just played in the Pennsylvania Golf Association Championship, finishing 84-85. I am playing in numerous Isaly’s Tri-State (events) and I played in a Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event. I will continue playing competitively going into the fall high school season as I balance it with my lacrosse schedule. We’re hoping to have a great team.

PGN: What do you enjoy about golf?

Kern: I enjoy playing with my friends and family. We have friendly competition to keep everyone on their toes. Also, I love learning new shots and striving to come in with a few less strokes each day.

Thanks to Delaney for being the first subject of the PGN Q & Ace! If you have a hole-in-one story to tell, or you just want to get your name on our Honor Roll, leave a comment below or email me at matt.gajtka@gmail.com.

A 15-year veteran of sports media, Matt Gajtka (GITE-kah) is the founding editor of PGN. Matt is a lifelong golfer with a passion for all aspects of the sport, from technique to courses to competition. His experience ranges from reporting on Pittsburgh's major-league beats, to broadcasting a variety of sports, to public relations, multimedia production and social media.

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