LA QUINTA, Calif. — The 156 amateur golfers are a big part of The American Express golf tournament each year. They pay to live out a bucket-list moment or to network with other big wigs, and when they are making the gallery duck, they are usually giving them a good laugh with their, well, amateur-ish play.
Each amateur pays $29,000 — that includes three rounds of golf, the opportunity to play with six PGA Tour pros, private parties at night and it is partially tax deductible because it goes to charities — to hopefully come away with a lasting memory. Consider that goal achieved for Adam Fuller.
Fuller, a 51-year-old from Atlanta, was playing in this event for the second straight year, and he had a magic moment Saturday on the Nicklaus Tournament Course.
On the 141-yard eighth hole, his nine-iron flew into the sun, landed about 15 feet in front of the hole and rolled in for a hole-in-one.
“The sun made it tough to see and the pin was in the back right, and I was aiming about 10 feet left of the pin. It went about five feet left and landed and rolled in, but we weren’t really sure at first,” Fuller said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
This was not the first hole-in-one for Fuller, who holds a 2 handicap. In fact, it was his fifth. He had one while playing golf with his wife last summer.
“But it was the first one in competition and of course it was special to do it while playing with pros,” said Fuller who was teamed with pro players Ben Taylor and Robby Shelton for his memorable moment. He played with Sam Burns and Harris English on Friday and Wyndham Clark and Harry Higgs on Thursday.
Fuller said his only regret is he kind of wished one of his pro playing partners had gotten the ace since it would’ve helped them in the actual pro-am tournament, but it will forever live in his memory bank as a moment he won’t forget.
“It was funny because before that I was taking stock of how beautiful this place is and I was just thinking how lucky I am to be here,” Fuller said. “You’re looking at these mountains and the weather is perfect. It means the world to me.”