Shaun Campbell's lucky number is now 12 after he achieved every golfer's dream of a hole-in-one.
He was playing in the AIMS Games at the Tauranga Golf Club last week when he slotted a perfect wedge at the club's famous Knoll hole. The first ace of his golfing career happened at the 12th hole, on the 12th day of September, in the 12th year of the century and Shaun is ... 12 years old.
The synergies lined up nicely to make the event even more special. Shaun regards it as a great feat in an otherwise disappointing round of golf.
"I was playing pretty bad when I stepped up onto the tee," he said. "I hit a wedge and it looked very good all the way. I was telling the ball to spin back and it pitched just past the hole and did spin back, right into the hole. There were plenty of high-fives and shouting, it was pretty exciting for me and my playing partners."
Shaun, who attends Aquinas College and plays at the Omanu Golf Club, finished third in the boys' strokeplay event at the AIMS Games, after winning the title last year. The form of Ryoga Mimura from Christchurch was unbeatable, especially as he plays off an incredible handicap for a 12-year-old of 1.6. His winning four-round total included two rounds of 71 off the back tees.
Shaun plays off a highly commendable seven handicap and started playing golf almost when he first started walking.
He wants to play professionally and to reach the highest level, but appreciates there are some aspects of his game that need working on.
"I'd like to start off small and work my way up to the PGA Tour one day. At the end of my career I would like to be a golf commentator on television. I want to work hard to get as far as I can in golf. In the next 12 months, I would like to get down to a handicap of three or four.
"I can get quite frustrated and annoyed with myself on the course. I have people helping me out with that because you need to get hold of your emotions to play well. But I just love playing golf."