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Pro basketball star Jim Jackson said he has been playing golf for six or seven years.
"But today it was like I just started," he said.
Except for one shot, that is.
Playing in yesterday's McDonald Financial Group/KeyBank Celebrity pro-am, Jackson made the longest shot of his life. A 3-pointer? No, it was a hole-in-one at the 160-yard, par-3 second hole at Highland Meadows Golf Club.
"I had my 9-iron in hand, I tested the wind, I took my time, I figured it was important to get my team off to a good start, and ..." Jackson said, before cracking up.
"What really happened is I missed it, got lucky and it went in."
So, how many aces was that for the former Macomber High and Ohio State University star?
"Are you kidding me? I've had so many that I can remember exactly one.
"It might have been the only good shot I made all day, but that's what brings you back, I guess."
SOGGY VICTORY: It ended in sunlight, but most competitors put in a long, wet day before teams headed by LPGA pros Dawn Coe-Jones and Stephanie Loudon emerged victorious in yesterday's Celebrity pro-am.
Coe-Jones and her amateur teammates - Kristine Hnat, Travis Slater, Todd Slater and Scott Slater - took low net honors with a handicap-adjusted score of 49.25.
An eagle on the par-5 17th hole lifted Loudon's team to a scorecard playoff win for low gross honors at 17-under-par 54. Her teammates included Buck Baumann, Ken Rusk, Gus Mancy and Marv Robon.
Runner-up in low net at 50.50 was pro Soo-Yun Kang and amateurs Jim Malley, Don Carlson, Ray Roberts and Doug Shields. Finishing third at 50.61 was pro Denise Killeen and partners Mike Miller, Paul Abendroth, Rich Esser and Todd Esser.
SOFT MEADOWS: Course superintendent Mark Mixdorf said Highland Meadows took less than an inch of rain Tuesday night and yesterday, but that should be enough to soften things considerably.
"We had it nice and firm and everything was looking good," Mixdorf said. "Now everything's pretty soft and, with lower temperatures the next couple days, I don't know if we'll be able to get it back to where it was."
Many players in the Celebrity pro-am reported that greens speed remained fast, even during the afternoon rains.
NO STRANGER: Aree Song may be an LPGA Tour rookie, but she is no newcomer to the Farr Classic. She and her sister, Naree Song, who were then playing under the last name Wongluekiet, competed at Highland Meadows as sponsor exemptions as 16-year-old amateurs in 2001.
Naree missed the cut, but Aree carded rounds of 69-72-74-70 for a 285 total that produced a tie for 51st place.
Aree has three top-10 finishes this season, including a tie for second at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, one of the LPGA's majors. She ranks 25th on the tour money list with $329,422.
Naree, meanwhile, is playing on the Futures Tour this year.
LAST IN: Kris Lindstrom became the last player to gain a berth in the Farr, coming off the alternate list yesterday to replace Michelle Ellis, who withdrew.
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