Hours after hitting his first hole-in-one on the fourth hole, Ben Reichert was still at a loss of words.
The East Amherst native said he didn't know what to think after it happened, just that he was happy it happened at the Porter Cup, a tournament he's very familiar with.
"I didn’t see if it went in or if it was short," he said. "I figured it was short. When I got up there I saw the ball mark six feet short of the pin and I didn’t see the ball. I looked in the hole and there it was. I’ll take it."
Reichert was stellar the rest of the day as well, and he is tied for first place with Ben Schlottman of Advance, N.C., at 5-under 65 after the first round of the 60th Porter Cup at the Niagara Falls Country Club.
"Everything was pretty solid," Reichert said. "I had to do my best to block that out. It’s nice that I made a hole-in-one but on the next hole it doesn’t matter."
Blake Windred, of Australia, and Cole Hughes of Indiana, Pa., are tied for third at three-under 67. Meanwhile, returning champion Brandon Wu struggled, shooting seven-over 77. He's currently tied for 72nd. Australia's Shae Wools-Cobb, the highest-ranked player in the field, shot a 70 and is tied for 16th.
"It wasn’t too bad," Wools-Cobb said. "It was pretty entertaining out there, a lot of birdies and an eagle and a lot of bogeys. ... I love playing in America so it’s just awesome being here."
For Reichert, the Porter Cup is essentially a home game. He lives just 30 minutes away from the course and he has played in this tournament four times. He finished tied for 42nd last year.
"This tournament is pretty special, especially for me," he said. "I’ve played in a majority of the amateur events and this one is different. Just the way we get treated, the atmosphere is phenomenal."
He's made major improvements in the past year and lowered his average score to 74.89 during his sophomore season. The rising junior at Old Miss played his freshman year for East Tennessee State University and attended Williamsville North High School, where he set the school record for the lowest nine-hole score with 32.
Reichert also won the Florida Azalea Amateur in March. He'll tee off at 12:10 p.m. Thursday as he aims to stay in the lead on the second day of the day tournament.
"I just keep doing what I’m doing and hit one shot at a time," he said. "Hopefully I’ll be holding a trophy on Saturday."