Richard Silman made a spectacular return to tournament golf by firing a hole-in-one in his first event back after a lengthy injury lay-off.
The Tenterden Golf Club professional has been severely hampered by persistent back and hip problems, and hadn’t played competitively for nine months before lining up at the Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship East qualifier at Bush Hill Park.
He and his partner Simon Sheppard (Bishop’s Stortford) finished in a tie for third place on 64 (-6), with the Kent man shooting five birdies and an eagle, which came courtesy of his ace, at the 136-yard 16th.
He admitted his main satisfaction came from just being able to play pain-free again, but said he couldn’t deny that his hole-in-one made the occasion even sweeter. It was his third competitive ace, and remarkably his 12th in total.
Silman, who turned 44 just three days before the event, added: “I’ve spent the last two or three years thinking I’m not going to finish a round of golf, thinking I’d play four or five holes and then make a swing and it would finish my day.
“I hadn’t really been expecting too much (at Bush Hill) but I’ve now played five rounds (since returning) and walked off with no pain which is a great feeling.
“The hole-in-one was played with a nine-iron and pitched just past the hole and spun back in. The good thing is that the hole was slightly downhill so there is a great view of the green which meant I saw the whole thing. It really brightened my week and I feel as if I can kick on from here.”
Silman and Sheppard now play in the grand final on the Jack Nicklaus designed course at Carden Park in Cheshire in August but his next competition is on Monday, June 27, when he and Tenterden member John Sharples play in the Lombard Trophy qualifier at Ashridge, Hertfordshire, the scene of one of Silman’s other competitive aces, which came during regional qualifying for the Open in 2005.