ALDIE, Va. -- PGA teaching professional Kirk Nelson of Kihei, Hawaii, found the best way to spell relief is "A-C-E" during a practice round Tuesday at Creighton Farms, host site of the 25th Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship.
Nelson, 53, suffering from a severe blister to his right heel, which he received last weekend playing in Los Angeles, took off his golf shoe after three holes on the challenging Jack Nicklaus-designed course. Nelson slipped on a flip-flop sandal, keeping a regular golf shoe on his left foot. As he and his playing partners reached the 195-yard, par-3 ninth hole, Nelson used a 3-iron into the wind to the elevated green. The ball disappeared over a ridge in the green. Upon reaching the green, Nelson got confirmation that his ball had found the bottom of hole for his 10th career ace - none coming in competition.
"I am used to playing in sandals or barefoot on casual rounds with members," said Nelson, who will make his second appearance in the Championship. "I could use that shot later in the week."
Nelson's playing partners were PGA teaching professional Brad Bowen of Kapalua Golf Academy in Lahaina, Hawaii; Andrew Feldmann, PGA head professional of Oahu Golf Club in Honolulu; and Robert Dacey, PGA head professional at Tierra del Sol Golf Course in California City, Calif.
"That was just a classic moment," said Bowen, who confirmed that Nelson bought a round of drinks in the clubhouse.
PGA Rules officials confirmed that Bowen, if he wants, can play in sandals this week in the Championship.