Chalk up the first East Coast ace of the year on the PGA Tour. Matthew NeSmith, a 26-year-old South Carolina alum, earned that honor in the opening round of the Honda Classic. NeSmith holed out at the par-3 fifth hole, playing 186 yards, at PGA National with his 5-iron.

The ace marks the 24th on the PGA Tour so far this season.

NeSmith’s hole-in-one came amid a colorful front-nine stretch. He had birdied the third hole before giving a shot back with a bogey at No. 4. He bookended the ace with another bogey then logged three more pars to close out the front nine at 1-under 34.

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NeSmith’s card would have been clean on the back nine but for a double-bogey on the par-3 15th. He hit his tee shot way right and found water there.

He finished at 1-over 71 for the round.

The Honda Classic represents NeSmith’s 13th start in the 2019-20 PGA Tour season. He missed the first three cuts of the season but logged his best finish, a T-6, at last week’s Puerto Rico Open. Last season, NeSmith won the Albertsons Boise Open on the Korn Ferry Tour and earned PGA Tour membership for this season by finishing No. 1 in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals 25.



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