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O'Rourke Nails Dramatic Ace in Amateur Tourney

WILTON, Conn. – Sports fans have probably seen plenty of walk-off home runs. But what about a walk-off hole-in-one?

That’s how New Canaan resident Devon O'Rourke won his first round match play game Wednesday in the Connecticut Amateur Championship at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton. Taking on second-seed Brandon Chicokra, the tournament leader after day one, O'Rourke sank a hole-in-one on a third playoff hole to move on in the tournament.

"We played a great match all day, back-and-forth. It was a fitting way to end it," O'Rourke said. "You really can't beat that. [Chicokra] wasn't too upset. He was a good sport about it."

Even more surprising, O'Rourke barely got into match play after posting an eight-over par 150 in the qualifying stroke play rounds. O'Rourke, seeded 31st, came back twice from two strokes down to force playoff holes with Chicokra. After tying the first two playoff holes, O'Rourke stood in at the tee of the 201-yard par-three third hole with his last visit there in mind.

"I pulled my four-iron the first time and hit it a little long," O'Rourke explained. "This time I eased up on my swing just a little bit and it landed perfectly and rolled in from about 10 feet away."

O'Rourke continued his dramatics in the second match play round, needing 19 holes to defeat John Jackopsic. This time the victory came on a much-less dramatic four on a par five.

"I've played more golf than everyone else here today," O'Rourke said with a grin. "I'm pleased and a little surprised to get this far. It's nice to get this far."

O'Rourke, who plays out of Darien Country Club, takes on Matt Smith of Thompson, Conn., Thursday in the quarterfinals. The winner of the quarterfinal match will play in the semifinals later on Thursday. The 36-hole final will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday.

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest MSC-Fairfield County sports coverage.

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