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One hole-in-one is impressive, but two on the same day in the same group, is something special
Derek MacKay stood on the 17th tee at Truro Golf Club looking to hit one close.
Playing an up-and-down back nine, MacKay was in “damage control” as he tried to piece together a solid round and put a number on a scorecard that was destined for a display case. Earlier in the day, his good buddy and playing partner – Branden McLean – made a hole-in-one on the par-3 second hole.
“Being on a scorecard with someone who has a hole-in-one, you want to make sure you have a good score too because it’s gonna be on display for a while,” said MacKay.
MacKay, a Truro resident, hit a six-iron on No. 17 – a 202-yard par-3 to a middle pin location. The ball came off a hill to the right of the green, rolled across the putting surface and toward the flag before disappearing to the bottom of the cup.
“I was watching it and when it hit the slope, I was like, ‘sweet, member’s bounce,’ and it started to roll towards the green; I had my club pretty much back in my bag by the time the ball started rolling across the green and I was like, ‘holy…’ you know – that actually went in, and we all started kind of jumping around.
“There was a lot of hootin’ and hollerin’… a lot of not-safe-for-work language,” MacKay laughed.
MacKay, 34, and McLean, 30, were playing their round on July 18 with Pat MacCormack and Jeff Heyman.
The National Hole in One registry in the U.S. says the odds of an average golfer making an ace are 12,000 to 1. It also says the odds of two players from the same foursome making a hole-in-one on the same hole are 17 million to 1.
And while it doesn’t state the odds for two players from the same group accomplishing the feat on different holes – as MacKay and McLean did – it’s safe to say it’s extremely rare.
“It was quite the adventure; something you’ll never experience again, so it was kind of incredible,” McLean said.
“It’s rare enough to see one. To see two in the same round is crazy, I think, but it was great to be a part of it.”
McLean, who lives in Valley, made his ace on No. 2 with a nine-iron from 165 yards. He said he saw the ball land past the hole and knew it close, but didn’t see where it finished. When he got near the green, he noticed the ball mark close to the hole, but no ball in sight.
“We couldn’t even tell it went in at first so no one really celebrated,” he said. “And halfway there we noticed there was no ball on the green so that’s when we kind of started to realize it went in.”
The foursome celebrated McLean’s ace with a few cold ones on the course and were pumped to see MacKay’s tee shot a few hours later track toward the hole and fall to the bottom of the cup.
“It was amazing,” McLean said. “We could see his clearly went in and everyone just started losing it at that point because we were all a little in the bag as it was and having a good time, and to see the second one go in on the same day was just insane.”
For the record, MacKay shot 5-over 76, while McLean carded a round of 75.
It was the second hole-in-one at Truro Golf Club for both players. MacKay made one on No. 2 in 2016, while McLean aced No. 13 last summer. MacKay has witnessed both of McLean’s aces and was also in his group this year when his friend broke 70 for the first time.
“So Branden should be playing golf with me all the time because he always does something remarkable when he’s playing with me,” MacKay joked.
As for the tradition of the player who scores a hole-in-one buying his playing partners drinks, both MacKay and McLean ponied up with beer for the boys after the front nine and again at the 19th hole.
"A fantastic day," said MacKay. "I’ll never forget that round of golf."