BEMIDJI - John Vinje of Bemidji enjoys playing No. 14 at the Bemidji Town & Country Club. It is common for him to stick an iron off the tee onto the green on the par-3 hole. On occasion he will even be rewarded with a legitimate birdie opportunity.
Tuesday during the Birchmont Senior Championship qualifying rounds Vinje was playing with his friends Rob Noren, Peter Bridston and Don Dale. All of them shot 81s during Monday's first day of qualifying and they began Tuesday's round from the No. 10 tee.
"Every week during league play we have a closest to the pin contest and last week I hit it to four feet on No. 14," Vinje remembered. "But that same night Rob hit it inside me to win."
On Tuesday Vinje had his chance for vindication.
"The hole was 146 yards away and I used a 7-iron," he said. "The ball hit four feet in front of the cup and rolled right in for a hole-in-one."
The ace was the second of Vinje's golfing career.
"About four or five years ago during Men's League I had a hole-in-one on No. 2 at the country club," he said.
"It was fun getting the hole-in-one during the Birchmont but the only damper to the day was that I shot 90 and missed the Senior Championship cut.
"But I did get a pat on the back from everybody," he chuckled.