Playing partners notch two holes-in-one at once
Saturday, September 7, 2013
By Andy Zunz
Jimmy Armadoros, Les Morris and Tom Pucci walked toward the hidden, uphill green of Elk River Club’s No. 12 with little notion of what was awaiting them.
The trio approached the 120-yard par-3 tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina thinking that Armadoros had stuck his shot closest.
He was close, but not quite enough.
“I thought I hit it short and the other fellow was in the left rough. It’s an uphill hole so we can’t see anything,” Pucci said. “I said to Jimmy Armadoros, ‘Yours has to be in the hole.’
"He said, ‘There’s two balls in there but neither of them are mine.’ ”
Pucci and Morris both aced the hole on Aug. 28 — each tee shot finding the bottom of the cup. Pucci wielded an 8-iron, Morris a 6-iron.
Armadoros hit his 3-wood within five feet and finished with birdie.
“It was pretty awesome,” Morris said. “It was hard to believe two of them had gone in.”
Said Armadoros: “I went over the hole and the balls were sitting one next to the other. I’ve never seen anything like it. I called the club and said, ‘Guys you won't believe what happened.’ ”
Pucci, 71, said that there wasn’t much drama or celebration. The shot was his fifth hole-in-one. Morris, 67, nabbed his third hole-in-one.
“I really didn’t think much of it until we later found the odds of hitting two holes-in-one,” Pucci said.
Those odds are quite improbable. According to Golf Digest, the chances of two players in the same foursome hitting holes-in-one on the same hole are 17 million to one.
The men had better chances being struck by lightning, bitten by a shark or dying from firework discharge.
Pucci nearly lost his lucky ball.
“Mr. Pucci, not thinking, hit his ball into the water on the 16th hole. He didn’t realize that was his hole-in-one ball,” said Oliver Peacock, director of golf at the club in Banner Elk, N.C.
Said Pucci: “When we got in they said, ‘What did you with the ball?’ I said, ‘It’s in the creek. So I paid one of the kids 10 bucks and said, ‘Go see if you can get the ball back.’ ”
They found it. But that wasn’t the last time Pucci would have to dish out some dough.
“It cost me a lot of money, I’ll tell you that much,” Pucci said. “We have a hole-in-one club here, so you open the bar for two hours. I took Saturday at 12 o’clock, thinking nobody drinks on Saturday at 12 o’clock. They fooled me. They drank.
“So that was an expensive day, but it was worthwhile.”