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Golf plus: Fargoan Russ Nelson has 14 aces to his credit

Once in a lifetime, huh? Well, Russ Nelson has so many holes-in-one they're not only commonplace, but something of a joke. "I've been lucky 14 times," he cracked. Fourteen aces by age 48, the latest coming June 8. It's gotten so absurd that the V...

Once in a lifetime, huh?

Well, Russ Nelson has so many holes-in-one they're not only commonplace, but something of a joke.

"I've been lucky 14 times," he cracked.

Fourteen aces by age 48, the latest coming June 8.

It's gotten so absurd that the Village Green Golf Course pro doesn't even keep track of the magical golf ball. And he used to get a keychain from Footjoy for each hole-in-one, but that was long since discontinued.

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And he's lost most of those.

The incredible run began at age 12 or 13 at Fargo Country Club, and has continued at an array of courses, at most of which where Nelson worked.

As for No. 14, if it wasn't special, was it at least unique?

"My daughter was with me," Nelson said, referring to oldest child Matti.

"But she didn't see it. She was monkeying with her golf bag or something."

Israelson bests mark

Prepare to be amazed:

"It was the easiest 61 I've shot," Bill Israelson said of his course-record round at Edgewood Golf Course Friday.

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Easy and 61 -- 11-under par -- don't belong within a 400-yard dogleg left of each other, yet the 46-year-old coupled them.

In fact, Israelson said he left three strokes on the course.

You didn't see that coming.

"If there was a trademark of my game, it's shooting low scores," he said, noting ownership of record rounds at several other courses.

The pro from The Vintage in Staples, Minn., proved it again with 11 birdies, including six straight, at the KX Pro-Am.

He won by 10 strokes.

And long, thick rough has the course playing tougher than usual, according to assistant pro Matt Cook.

The irons were hot and the driver was straight, leaving a run for the 50s, which he'd hit twice before, to his typically torrid putter.

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But Israelson did make one three-putt, missed two 8-footers and had an eagle putt lip out, settling for a 30 on the front and a 31 on the back.

Then again, Darin Uselman and Nelson would like to have their course record of 63 back.

"This was not a typical course-record round," Israelson said.

There was nothing typical about this round.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Terry Vandrovec at (701) 241-5548

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