Seeing double? Maybe you’re just lucky |

Seeing double? Maybe you’re just lucky

Ryan Slabaugh

Kent Roberg, the Daily’s mid-handicapped, web-content editor, played a round at the Willow Creek Golf Course in Eagle-Vail Thursday that he’ll forget around the time he gets struck by lightning. He picked up two hole-in-one in a matter of 15 minutes – a feat 20 times more rare than winning the lottery, or 1:625,000,000.

Roberg took out a pitching wedge on No. 4, a 75-yard, par-3 and watched his shot bounce and roll into the cup. After the mandatory celebration, his foursome moved on to the next hole on the Par 3 course.

Then came No. 6, a 93-yard, par-3 that Roberg holed out using a nine iron. One hop and in the hole, and Roberg made history.

“We get holes in one a lot, but never have we had two in one day,” said Willow Creek’s Don Donofrio. “That’s something.”

Roberg, on the other hand, was red-faced in disbelief.

“I just hit it and saw it flying at the pin,” Roberg said. “A good round for me is about a 90.”

Luckily for Roberg, he had deep pockets. The Pinnacle and Wilson Pro Staff golf balls were placed in the left pocket, while the ball he switched to went in the right. He finished out his round with witnesses Adam Kobren, Kim Bodick and Averill Hovey, entering the clubhouse with a two-over-par 29.

The feat, to any golfer, will cause a mixture of greed, supreme jealousy and awe to converge. I could barely ask the man questions. In my mind, I pictured all the close shots in my career that rimmed out or hit the pin. Time and time again, I pictured my ball in flight landing in the cup. I’d be cool, confident, and not make too big a deal about it. It happens all the time, right?

But two in one round? I’d be airborne and driving in the wrong side of traffic. If a storm rolled in, I’d ignore it. Lightning won’t come near a man this lucky. Why not just call Anna Kournikova and ask her out on a date, if you’re feeling that blessed. In fact, if you’re on this kind of a roll, why not just change your name to Butter?

Is there a club for this kind of thing?

“It has happened before on a regular course, I know that,” said director of the Vail Recreation District Piet Pieters. “But that’s unbelievable. He’s going to be in bad shape tomorrow.”

Whether Pieters is talking about the 19th hole, where golf etiquette means drinking to any sort of victory on the course, or about side effects of using that much positive karma in one day, is up in the air. Still, Roberg’s instantly on the short list of lucky golfers.

He joins Norman Manley, who scored a record 59 holes-in-one in his career, including four in 1979. Or maybe Harold Stilson in South Carolina. Stilson was 101 years old when he holed out his four iron from 108 yards out in 2001.

But don’t count out Robert Mitera, who in 1965 holed out his driver on the par-4, 447-yard 10th hole at the aptly named Miracle Hills Golf Course near sunny Orlando.

Still, the odds that Roberg’s performance is any less spectacular is up in the air. Sure, he did it on a Par-3 course. Nobody I talked to believed it at first. When he announced his feat in the newsroom, it was only a short time before the skeptics crept in.

Two holes-in-one, they asked? The only thing that could have made Roberg more lucky was if he wasn’t supposed to be at work at the time.

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