After pro’s hole in one at Genesis, his caddie is the bigger winner

Will Zalatoris, Joel Stock

Will Zalatoris, left, and caddie Joel Stock on Friday on the 14th hole at Riviera Country Club.

Will Zalatoris was sorry. Four years ago, he was swimming in holes in one. Five of ’em. Then the well, and his clubs, went dry. The pro apologized to Joel Stock, his caddie. 

The aces would return, he said. 


“I was like, I’m going to make one sooner or later,” Zalatoris said. 

You know where this is going. No, we wouldn’t be writing any of this if Zalatoris had come up short (or long or left or right) on Friday. That’s cruel. Yes, during the second round of the Genesis Invitational, Zalatoris had a 1 on his scorecard after playing the 184-yard, par-3 14th at Riviera Country Club in L.A. And it all had a small twist, too.

The shot was pure, though. A 7-iron that started a bit to the right, worked back left and dropped just over the left greenside bunker, onto the fringe of the green. His ball bounced a few times. It rolled. It found the hole’s center. From the tee, Stock thought it was tracking the whole way. 

His man raised his arms. Zalatoris then ran over to Stock, who was left of the tee. He jumped in his arms. Stock picked him up. He carried him around. Careful! Zalatoris is working his way back from a back injury. He put him down, Zalatoris buzzed around some, and the two slapped hands. 

“When the crowd went crazy,” Stock said, “we went crazy, too.”

He had the hole in one. 

But they both had cars, too. One for the pro. One for the looper. This is the Genesis Invitational. The Genesis folks make cars. And every so often, events hand out keys to cars after holes in one. Notably, a Genesis was parked behind the 14th tee box. 

Had Zalatoris ever won a car before? He noted he now had 10 total holes in one.

Nope, no cars. 

“Made one in the U.S. Open which was pretty fun,” Zalatoris said, “but besides that, no. That’s definitely the most fun, for sure.”

Had Ben Crane, one of Stock’s former players, ever won him a car?

Nope, no cars for him, either. 

“Just a bunch of Wyndham points at one time,” Stock said. “I just like seeing the hole in ones; that’s what excites me.” 

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Said Zalatoris: “He’s staying for free everywhere and he’s driving for free everywhere he wants to now, so pretty good.”

Indeed. There was more, though. In the post-round press conference, Golf Digest’s Christopher Powers said he had done some searching. 

Stock’s car was worth a bit more than Zalatoris’. 

Stock smiled. 

Zalatoris shook his head and laughed. 

“No, he can have it,” he said. 

“Absolutely, he can have it.”

The hole-in-one drought had seemingly been forgotten. 

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at