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Van Pelt finds Masters redemption, albeit a year late, on fateful 16th hole

By Steve Elling | Senior Golf Columnist

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Bo Van Pelt's golf swing looked pretty good Sunday at Augusta National.

His timing could still use some work.

The American veteran aced the 16th hole and had two eagles on the back nine, finishing with an 8-under 64 for the best round of the week, but he could not help but think about last year.

Last April, Van Pelt was within one stroke of the lead when he knocked a shot onto the right side of the green on the 16th and eventually made a bogey to fall out of contention. When he aced the hole with a 6-iron on Sunday, he turned to his caddie and cracked, "It was one year too late."

All things considered, it still wasn't too bad.

Van Pelt came within a stroke of the course and major-championship scoring record and had jumped to T17 as he finished and the leaders began to tee off.

Better still, Van Pelt's entire family, including his three kids, ages 5, 9 and 10, was on hand to see the ace. His youngest had just asked him a few days ago if he had ever aced a hole in competition -- this was actually his fifth in a professional event.

He almost made a double-eagle on the 13th, when he gouged a 5-iron from 198 yards onto the par-5 hole in two, narrowly missing a double eagle by 2 inches. He shot 30 on the back nine, which hopefully was a sign of things to come for the leaders later in the day.

"I thought that one was going in," he said.

The one on 16 sure did, albeit 12 months too late to help his chances of actually winning.

"You don't get to pick and choose your good days and bad holes out here," Van Pelt laughed.

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