Posted: Thursday June 9, 2005 3:21PM; Updated: Thursday June 9, 2005 3:21PM
CHENANGO FORKS, N.Y. (AP) -- Ruthie MacDonald has been golfing for more than two decades and she's never seen anything like it. It's a good bet she probably never will again.
MacDonald and her cousin, Joanie Villecco, each carded a hole-in-one on consecutive shots Wednesday morning in the Chenango Valley State Park Women's Golf Association league. Villecco went first, and she knocked her 9-iron tee shot into the hole on the downhill 115-yard third hole at Chenango Valley State Park Golf Course. The shot landed just short of the green, rolled toward the hole and banked in off the pin.
"We were all excited. It was her first one. We were just jumping up and down, congratulating, hugging," MacDonald said Thursday. "On that hole, you're looking down. It was so plain to see."
Once the celebration subsided, it was MacDonald's turn to hit.
"The glory was all over. I got up there and didn't think anything about it," said McDonald, who hit a 7-iron and then stared again in disbelief. "I just swatted the ball, down it went, bounced twice, hit the pin and went in. We just couldn't believe it."
So much for that 15 minutes of fame.
"I stepped up, hit a really nice ball, and you're kind of shocked," Villecco said. "Everybody else is going nuts. She doesn't even take a practice swing. I said, `I had five seconds of glory.' It was like crazy. One girl was shaking. You'd of thought she had the hole-in-one."
"We started screaming," McDonald said. "They could hear us all over the course. To have it happen twice like that is just a miracle."
Just about. According to Golf Digest, the odds are 17 million-to-1 for two players in the same foursome to hit a hole-in-one on the same hole.
The hole-in-one was the second of MacDonald's career, but it didn't help her much. Villecco, 63, of Harpursville, finished with an 85 and MacDonald shot 98. But at least they beat their opponents, Flo Repko and Pat Burchell.
"I just kind of lost it for the second nine," said MacDonald, 61, of Binghamton. "I had my cell phone and had to turn it off because I called my husband and he spread the word and people were calling me. My round kind of went to pot, but it was still a pretty exciting day."
Club pro Rocky Kelly said the par-72 course was still abuzz on Thursday.
"People come in and everybody's still talking about it," he said. 'We've been telling them the cup is real big on that hole."
The 58-year-old Kelly called it "one of the biggest coincidences I've ever had."
It might not top his list, though.
"Once, I had a guy who shot par on the front nine without getting a par," he said. "He finished it with a double eagle."
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)