Michael Blair strikes an ace at Wentworth but is still left ruing his good fortune...

I sat down at lunch yesterday with Derek Lawrenson, a former servant of this newspaper, who achieved fame/infamy seven years ago by holing in one in an expensively-sponsored pro-am and winning an Italian motor car so expensive as to defy most people?s grasp of arithmetic.

He has moved on to pastures new while I remain but we had reason to remember his past good fortune after yesterday?s Golf Writers? Association Championship at Wentworth prior to today?s World Matchplay Championship.

Lawrenson had won his shining prize ? a Lamborghini Diablo, no less ? in 1998 for getting an ace at Mill Ride Golf Club while in the company of the England World Cupfootball team.

With a new baby and a wife to consider, he cashed in the car, setting himself up for life. It cost him his amateur status under the R&A rules.

?How did you go, Mike?? he solicitously asked me yesterday, having long since been re- instated as a nonprofessional player.

?Not bad,? says I. Which, on my part, was modesty on a scale not often experienced in this incredibly esoteric realm of the game. Thirty-nine points was decent enough for second place. Four points behind the winner.

But what was contained in those 39 points? A hole in one, that?s what.

On the 210-yard 17th on Wentworth?s East Course, my rescue club despatched its quarry straight into the hole.

Lots of cheers, lots of handshakes. And Wentworth, very conscious of these things, presented me with a certificate and somebody brought me a glass of wine.

And Lawrenson? He just smiled.