- Kate Fagan, Columnist, espnW.com
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Pat Summitt notched her first hole-in-one on Friday afternoon at Sevierville Golf Club, located just outside of Knoxville, Tenn.
The legendary coach, who retired in April after 38 years at the helm of Tennessee women's basketball program, already possesses a lengthy resume -- 1,098 career victories and eight national championships -- but she never had accomplished golf's most famous feat.
On Friday, Summitt was golfing with a group of women's basketball greats, all of whom were gathered in town for Saturday night's induction ceremony at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Summitt's foursome included former player Lisa Reagan, Billie Moore, who coached Summitt at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and ESPN analyst Debbie Antonelli, who is serving as master of ceremonies for Saturday night's induction. Using a 7-iron, Summitt hit the ball 112 yards over water on Sevierville's par-3 17th hole.
"It was a little bit blind, but we knew it was a good shot," Antonelli said. "Of course, we didn't know it was that good. When we got up to the flag, we were looking behind the hole because we thought it had rolled past the cup. Then I walked up to the cup, looked down, and said, 'You're never going to believe this.' "
Summitt's reaction? Humility mixed with excitement, explained Antonelli. Apparently Summitt, who stepped down in April less than one year after announcing she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, has been playing quite a bit lately at her beach house in Florida. She hasn't had this much free time, well, ever. And she's taking full advantage. Antonelli said Summitt golfed on Thursday, too.
"I've witnessed a lot of great things with Pat," Antonelli said. "I even called her 1,000th career win on TV. I've been around her for so many great moments, but watching her hit this hole-in-one was pretty cool."
14dBonnie D. Ford