All avid golfers aspire to record a hole in 1 at some point in their careers.
For South Lafourche High School junior Cullen LeBlanc, his 1st could not have come at a better time, nor at a more memorable event.
LeBlanc posted his first-career ace on the Par 3 8th hole at The Wetlands in Lafayette in the final round of the LHSAA State Golf Championships. LeBlanc was one of the leading scorers on a Tarpons’ team that will finish in the Top 6 in the Division II competition.
LeBlanc said he was “amazed” by the accomplishment, adding that it’s an athletic achievement he is never going to forget.
“When I seen the ball fall into the cup, I was amazed by what had happened, “LeBlanc told The Gazette on Tuesday just minutes after recording the Hole in 1. “I couldn’t believe it.”
The irony of LeBlanc’s ace is that when he hit the ball, his gut instinct told him that the shot wasn’t going to be a good one.
But as fate would have it, it ended up being absolutely perfect.
The 8th hole at The Wetlands is a 165-yard Par 3.
LeBlanc took a 9-iron.
He gave it a full swing, but didn’t like the feel of the contact on impact.
“I thought I hit it bad,” LeBlanc said.
When LeBlanc’s eyes made their way to the air after the swing, his gut feeling was right. The ball was going a little right of where LeBlanc aimed.
But Mother Nature wasn’t ready to give up on the shot just yet. As the shot soared high in the air, the wind pushed it slightly back to the left and back on its intended line.
The ball landed soft on the green, then darted toward the flag. Each split second, looking better and better.
It disappeared on its second bounce, which sent a rush of adrenaline through the Tarpons’ golfer.
“It hit the green and bounced twice,” LeBlanc said. “On the second bounce, it hit the flagstick and fell in.”
LeBlanc said when he realized he had recorded a hole in one, he felt a rush of energy that can’t easily be explained. What makes the moment even more memorable is that it came on such a large stage and was something that helped his team and his classmates.
LeBlanc shot an 85 on Tuesday — 7 strokes better than the 92 he shot on Monday.
LeBlanc said his goal going into Tuesday’s round was to improve. He said Monday’s round of 92 was frustrating because he felt he could have done better.
“The first day, I knew I had left some strokes out on the course,” he said.
But on Tuesday, LeBlanc said he was more consistent, which helped his team.
With final scores from the event pending, South Lafourche will finish either 5th or 6th in the State in Division II.
LeBlanc said he was proud of all of his teammates for playing 2-straight days on a rough course.
Gabe Savoie led the Tarpons with a 2-day score of 169 with an opening-round 84, then an 85 on Tuesday. LeBlanc was second with a 177 after his opening-round 92, then Tuesday’s 85.
"Gabe really stepped it up this week," LeBlanc said of his teammate.
Rounding out the team’s competitors were Connor Collins (202), Patrick Gisclair (209) and Joshua Scioneaux (226).