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Craig Kimbrel earns hole-in-one at charity event

02/19/2013 4:15 PM ET
By Joe Auriemma

Craig Kimbrel has proven adept at both baseball and golf.(AP)
Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has made a name for himself as one of the elite closers in baseball. Now he's making news in a different game for accomplishing one of the toughest feats in all sports.

On Monday, Kimbrel aced a hole-in-one at the tough ChampionsGate Golf Club. Kimbrel lost sight of the ball on the 180-yard second hole. When he made his way down to find his ball, he looked everywhere except the hole. To his surprise, Kimbrel finished off the par three in style.

''I couldn't believe it,'' Kimbrel said. ''I think it went in on the fly. It was my first one.''

Kimbrel, who aced the hole at a charity event, hopes that the event is a foreshadowing of another big campaign in 2013. His 2012 season was certainly one for the ages. Not only did the Braves closer save 42 games, while accruing a miniscule 1.01 ERA, he achieved baseball history. Kimbrel struck out 116 of the 231 batters he faced making him the first pitcher to strike out more than half of the batters he faced.

Since earning National League Rookie of the Year honors in 2011, he has piled up a league high 88 saves in two seasons. With the addition Jordan Walden in the offseason, Atlanta has one of, if not the, best bullpens in all of baseball.

''If we get the game to the sixth inning, it is almost over,'' said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. ''With Walden, I think we have the best bullpen in baseball to get to the closer. Kimbrel doesn't need to worry about more than one inning with these guys. Kimbrel's number will be up there in a few years.''

If Kimbrel does wind up having a successful baseball career, he may very well have a career as a PGA golfer waiting in the wings, post-retirement.

Follow Joe Auriemma on Twitter: @JoeAuriemmaYES

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