'Ace' Casali not among golfers at charity tournament

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays started Thursday's workout early, and the workout ended early as well due to the team's participation in the annual Rays Charity Golf Tournament at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.

Unfortunately, Curt Casali was not among the players invited to play. The 25-year-old catcher has been the most talked about golfer in the clubhouse in recent days due to his hole in one Monday on No. 11 at Bobcat Trail Golf Club in nearby North Port, Fla.

"They're holding me down," joked Casali, who attended Vanderbilt University, as did Rays ace David Price. "I think David had a special request for me not to go."

Casali smiled when talking about the ultra-competitive Price, who is an avid golfer but does not have a hole in one.

"Does he not have one?" Casali said. "In that case, I guess I am one up on him. It's probably the only thing I got on him at this point of my life. If that's it, I'll take it for now."

Witnessing Casali's ace were teammates Wil Myers, Mike Montgomery and Luke Maile. Casali described what happened.

"Pin was tucked back left on an elevated green that slopes down," Casali said. "I shot it at 152 [yards], a little bit of wind into me, and I hit an 8-iron pretty well. From the air I knew it was a pretty good shot. Knew it was right on line. But I didn't think anything of it. I've never hit a hole in one. I've never really hit the ball that close to the pin in general. It landed a foot past the pin and it rolled in. It stuck then just started gently rolling down. We were like, 'No, no!'"

Myers spoke first of his own 400-yard drives hit that day before addressing Casali's masterpiece.

"The funny part about that shot is I was on my phone when he hit it, and I was talking in his backswing," Myers said. "I was like, 'Oh, I didn't mean to mess you up' before the ball landed and sure enough, it was a hole in one."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.