Holy Cow! A Bruin hit a hole in-one at The Masters

Holy Cow! A Bruin hit a hole in-one at The MastersBruce Auld, a former Sierra Sands Unified School District Superintendent, is writing the history of Burroughs High School. The articles that are being published are excerpts form his upcoming book, exclusive to The News Review.

Every serious golfer dreams of playing Augusta and hitting a hole-in-one while competing at the Masters.

Nearly 100% of golfers don’t achieve that dream. Not a dream, but a goal for Devon Bling, a 2017 Burroughs graduate. Devon hit a hole-in-one at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia at age 19. Commencing in 1934, there have only been 29 aces at the Masters.

At Burroughs, he was a scholar athlete and was named Mojave River League MVP and Player of the Year in three consecutive years. Son of Sara Bling, who died suddenly of a blood clot at the back of her brain on February 8, 2013, and Nick Bling, an electrical engineer, Devin started hitting golf balls as a two- year-old and first played competitively at ten.

By middle school, he and his younger brother Dillion “lived” at the China Lake Golf Course. The course is annually decimated by Canadian Snow Geese, Halloween through Easter, creating tough lies and difficult shots. A great course to challenge highly competitive young golfers. According to Devon, “If you can hit there, you can hit anywhere.” Devin was twice the China Lake Golf Course Champion.

Playing for UCLA (Business Economics major), Devon was named to the All-Pac 12 Freshman Team. In summer 2018, Devon was runner-up at the U.S. Amateur (a nationally televised event), besting 310 fellow golfers to earn invitations to the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and the 2019 Masters at Augusta, Georgia. At Pebble Beach, Devon was tied for 36th after stroke play. He won the first round of match play, then winning the second and third rounds.

A win over Davis Riley in the quarterfinals and a win over Isaiah Salinda in the semifinals, catapulted this Burro turned Bruin to the national amateur finals, falling to Viktor Hovland in the 36-hole final. This Burro turned Bruin was featured on national television for three days!

Devon also won the California State Fair Amateur by two strokes and was seventh in the Southern California Golf Association Amateur Championship. During the summer of 2019, Devon was one of four amateurs to make the cut at the Masters, finishing at 3-over 291, which included a 1-under 71 in round three. Devon made a hole-in-one at the Masters Par-3 Contest.

The Covid pandemic shortened the 2019-2020 season, with Devon winning the Brandon Dunes Championship for the second time. He was named the PAC 12 Conference Golfer of the Month for March and placed twelfth at the Ka’anapali Classic College Invitational with an eight under par 205. According to Devin’s Twitter account, March is great month for his play, winning:

The Jackrabbit Invitational on March 10, 2018

The Bandon Dunes on March 10, 2020

The Lamkin San Diego Classic on March 10, 2021

In summer 2020, Devon tied for seventh in stroke play at the California Amateur Championship with a five under 139. He tied for fifth at the St. Mark Amateur at nine under par with 204. At a seven under par 209, he was tied at eighteenth at the California State Fair Amateur.

Due to the pandemic interruption of play, the NCAA has granted athletes an additional year of eligibility. Devon has elected to compete for UCLA in the coming year. (From the UCLA Website, Mark Schlabach, ESPN Senior Writer and Devon’s Twitter account)

Pictured: Burroughs graduate Devon Bling first picked up some plastic clubs at 18 months, and his father, Nick, started teaching him the game at 5 years old. He grew to love golf while growing up in southern California, along with basketball and soccer, but didn’t play competitively until he was 10.

Story First Published: 2021-07-02