Tom Buzbee
Special to the Daily

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April 25, 2014
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17 million to 1 shots happen at Gypsum Creek Golf Club

GYPSUM — Back-to-back aces are a 17 million to 1 shot, but Dan Eby and Fred Kessler did it.

Ironically, they were playing the 17th hole Saturday at the Gypsum Creek Golf Course.

Kessler and Eby, Randy Marsh and Matt Larson teed off that morning, happy to be playing together again and to be on the course on such a nice spring afternoon.

“It was my first round of the year and I honestly didn’t expect much. Certainly nothing like this,” Kessler said.

An hour later they were still stunned, shaking their heads and telling the story over and over.

The story goes like this.

Ace of aces

Gypsum Creek’s 17th hole is a 151 yard par 3 that most local golfers fondly refer to as “cliff hole.” Kessler’s from Gypsum. Eby’s from Avon.

Kessler played first. A well struck iron shot arched high into the blue sky and landed safely on the green. A bounce, a roll and into the hole! A golfer’s dream!

The entire foursome was ecstatic; their celebration could be heard all the way to the clubhouse. That would have been plenty of excitement for one day. Probably for an entire golfing career. When they calmed down, Eby realized he was next up to hit.

While Kessler was hitting, Eby was back at the cart, getting an extra ball and fretting about what club to use. This hole had not been kind to him in the past. He didn’t even see Fred’s ball go in.

A hole in one is something you see once in our life if you’re lucky, and Eby was still kicking himself for not paying attention. He quieted his mind and launched the historic pitching wedge, thinking it too, looked pretty good sailing toward the green.

A bounce, a roll and once again, as Bill Murray would say in Caddyshack, “It’s in the hole!”

Just moments after Kessler’s perfect stroke, the entire foursome watched Eby’s ball disappear into the hole, right on top of Kessler’s.

On this Master’s Saturday, the roar erupted again from the 17th tee.

Two players.

Two swings.

Two aces, within seconds of each other!

No one at Augusta or anywhere else for that matter had pulled something like this off. Certainly not Saturday. Perhaps not ever.

Golf, however, is a game of decorum and the foursome still had work to do. Marsh and Larson trembled slightly as they excitedly took their turns. There was, after all, still room for a third and even a fourth ball in the cup.

Normalcy, though, returned to the cosmos and the final two to play settled for outstanding but more standard shots that came to rest on the green. That was fine with them. They said their role as witnesses to history was forever etched in their minds.

The foursome hurried through the final hole and made their way to the clubhouse. People were gathering as the word was spreading quickly around the course.

A quick search of the record books found that back-to-back aces had actually been accomplished in the golf world a couple of times.

Eby was jubilant.

“I decided to get an annual pass to Gypsum Creek this year. Then I told myself I was going to join the men’s league on Thursday afternoons and try and play a little better this season,” Eby said. “I think I’ll make sure to play every Saturday too from now on! With Fred!”

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Apr 25, 2014 09:51PM Published Apr 25, 2014 04:06PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.