When it’s your day, it’s your day. For Kyle Hayes, Wednesday, Aug. 9 was definitely his day.
Playing in a threesome with Cory Patmore and Roger Brooks at Providence Municipal Golf and Recreation Center, Hayes fired a course record -11 under par 61 that included two eagles and seven birdies.
“A ton of things went right for me,” Hayes explained. “To go low, you have to be hitting it well, obviously, but you also have to have some luck.”
The previous course record of 62 was shared by former members of the Providence Golf and Country Club – Scott Townsend and Tim Hammonds. Townsend couldn’t remember the date of his round, saying it was in the early 90s. He said Hammonds’ round pre-dated his 62.
Hayes, a 2013 WCHS graduate, opened his record-setting round in “ho-hum” fashion with three pars. The round got kick started on the 512-yard par5 fourth hole. Following a 300-plus yard drive, Hayes hit a 5-iron to about 25-feet for his eagle attempt.
“I didn’t catch my iron shot real crisp but it found the front,” Hayes said of his approach. “Then I just rolled in the putt, which really got me going.”
Following the eagle, Hayes reeled off three straight birdies on holes 5, 6, and 7. Another birdie on the par-4 9th got Hayes to -6 under as he made the turn.
“I let (the record) creep in my mind a little when I made the turn,” Hayes said.
The back 9 stalled a bit for Hayes as he played the first six holes coming home at -1 under to move to -7 under overall.
“I really felt like I had let the round go a little on the back after not birding holes 12, 13, or 14,” Hayes said. “I was sleep walking a little but the guys I was playing really kept encouraging me and got me re-focused.”
After his drive on the 490-yard par5 16th left him 207-yards out, Hayes smoked a 7-iron to within 2-feet for a tap in eagle 3 to move him to -9 under and within two shots of the record.
“I was guessing a little with the 7-iron,” he said. “I had an uphill lie so I knew it would fly but to hit it that close was crazy.”
Hayes said he’s been playing the ball down and putting everything out for several weeks as he was preparing for last weekend’s Eli Barron Invitational at Madisonville Country Club.
“Playing it down makes you focus,” Hayes said. “I’m glad we were playing it that way, obviously.”
Hayes said after the eagle on 16, he really began to think about the record again, but was a little unclear on exactly what the number was.
“I think I asked Cory what the record was…’was it 62 or 63?’,” Hayes explained. “He just kept telling me to play.”
And play he did. After missing the green on the par3 17th, Hayes promptly chipped in for birdie to move -10 under.
“I was just barely off the green and normally would have putted that shot, but there was a sprinkler head in my way so I elected to chip it, which worked out,” he added.
Still unsure of the record score, Hayes approached 18 thinking birdie to remove all doubt.
“Probably hit my worse drive of the day,” he laughed. “Ended up behind a pine tree on the left side and really didn’t have much option.”
Hayes had to get creative with his approach on the finishing hole and managed to hit a low hook around trouble that actually bounced off the flag before landing 8-feet away.
“I thought it had gone in,” Hayes explained. “So I got a little lucky and took advantage of it. The only thing I was thinking at that point was make the putt.”
Hayes rolled in the birdie putt to put the finishing touches on an amazing round of golf.
“To be honest, I was just kind of numb when it was over,” he said. “Cory and Roger were congratulating me and I was just standing there in disbelief.”
Hayes, who was an all-district basketball player at WCHS, didn’t start playing competitive golf until his junior year of high school when the school resurrected the program after several down years.
“I’m very humbled by all the people offering me congratulations,” he said..
Providence Golf, GM