Ron Agostini

In the trees, 225 yards out, OB left, nothing but cup

Did you carom a shot off the nearby oak tree and into the cup for an ace? Remember that 40-foot double-breaker you holed at the 18th green to take all the skins? Can you recall that perfectly striped tee shot with the club championship on the line?

If so, your 15 minutes of fame have arrived.

We'd love to read about the best golf shot you ever struck. Everyone has a story, one that may have been embellished over time or one your spouse patiently has heard more than once. We already know that golfers love to talk golf, especially their own golf.

The moments can be big or small, as long as they're memorable. All venues are in play, from the famed seventh green at Pebble Beach to a quiet Sunday afternoon twosome at Dryden Park.

Send the story of your best-ever golf shot in fewer than 150 words, and we'll devote a column to the most entertaining entries. Direct them to ragostini@modbee.com or fax to 238-4551, and include your name, address and phone number for verification.

For starters, here's my story: Two years ago as the sun set at Spring Creek Country Club in Ripon, I was enjoying a few moments with wife Laura and daughter Shelley. The mood was hit-and-giggle and the weather was perfect, but I snaphooked my tee shot into the trees at the short par-5 first. After I punched out, I still had about 225 yards to the hole. The pin was back-left not far from the out-of-bounds stakes, so I aimed to the right and pulled the shot on line with the flagstick. The ball disappeared, though I thought -- in the gathering dusk -- it had just rolled over the green, until Shelley ran ahead and pulled the ball out of the cup.

A no-sweat eagle 3, right?

"What do you think of that?" I yelled.

Deadpanned Shelley, "Nice shot, Dad."

Families can be a tough crowd.

UHRIK -- A visit to the Oregon State University golf Web site features a familiar face -- Beavers senior Julianna Uhrik, a former Stanislaus County Athlete of the Year and Modesto High graduate. Uhrik has shown improvement during the opening tournaments of the fall schedule, underscored by a 5-over-par 76 to finish the Stanford Intercollegiate last weekend. She totaled 13-over 226 and tied for 33rd overall, and Oregon State placed 16th.

"Julianna has had a good week," Beavers coach Rise Lakowske said. "This was a good field and she did a good job out there."

OSU's next tournament is a bona fide perk -- the Kent Youel Invitational on Oct. 30-31 in Kapolei, Hawaii.

THE SHAG BAG -- The Thornberry family was the recipient of the Andy Silva Memorial Award, which recognizes contributions to junior golf, during the 15th Andy Silva Tournament dinner last Saturday night at the SOS. Scholarships valued at $500 each were given to Johansen High senior Allyssa Pena, Pitman seniors Garrett Curiel and Orlando Barba and Pitman graduate Robert Stene. Daniel Covrig of Johansen and Shawnee Martinez of Dan Savage Middle School were named Junior Players of the Year. Earlier at the Silva tournament at Dryden, Will Bossard and Joe Reed won the A Flight and Jerry and Charles Fields captured the B Flight. ... "The Dream Called Del Rio," a book detailing the history of the Modesto country club celebrating its 60th anniversary, will be unveiled at Del Rio on Nov. 3. The book was written by Debbie Ristau with photography by Marilyn Niles. The McHenry Museum also will present an exhibit that night featuring the city's history since 1947.

HOLES-IN-ONE -- Jim Findarle, Modesto, 173-yard 12th at Creekside, 5-iron. ... Patti Soiseth, Turlock, 157-yard fifth at Creekside, driver. ... Kamil Isho, Ceres, 178-yard 15th at Creekside, hybrid. ... Jake Clark, Sonora, 160-yard fifth at Mountain Springs, Sonora, 6-iron.

Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at ragostini@modbee.com or 578-2302.

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