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Callia Ward drains first hole-in-one during junior tourney win

Callia Ward, 12, stands over the 8th hole at UNM North Course after her first hole-in-one on June 13. (Courtesy of Vince Ward)

When Callia Ward looked at her ball after she hit off the 8th tee at the UNM North Course on June 13 she thought it would roll past the green.

The 12-year-old from Albuquerque lost sight of the ball, but she received a great indication that it dropped in the hole for her first hole-in-one because of her father’s reaction.

“When it went in, I went crazy,” her father, Vince, said. “I was jumping up and down.”

Said Ward: “When he took the picture of the ball in the hole his shadow was in (the photo).”

Ward’s ace, accomplished with a 9-iron from 115 yards out, helped her win the 13-15 age division title with an 82 in a Sun Country PGA Junior tournament.

“It felt really good,” Ward said during a phone interview Thursday while she was at Albuquerque Country Club, where she usually practices. “It was really awesome. I was really happy.”

Ward knew not to get too confident when she hit off the 8th tee last week. The last time she thought she hit a shot really close to a hole, it ended up being 40 feet from the cup, she said.

Last year, Ward represented Albuquerque in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals that take place prior to the start of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

She was one of 80 junior golfers that earned an invitation by winning local, subregional and regional events.

She finished seventh out of 10 players in the girls 10-11 division at the national finals.

Ward remembers the experience of playing at Augusta and being on the Golf Channel as overwhelming.

She continues to play golf and learn about the game locally and abroad.

This weekend, she will participate in a golf camp at Stanford University.

She is set to compete in the IMG Academy Junior World Championships July 8-12 in San Diego, Calif.

In August, she is scheduled to compete in the U.S. Kids World Championship Aug. 1-3 at Pinehurst.