A high-handicap golfer from Mukilteo made a rare hole-in-one and an even rarer double-eagle — a 2 on a par-5 hole — in the same round at Highlander Golf Course in East Wenatchee on Saturday.
Jim Dyer, 39, doesn’t have an official handicap index but estimates it would be “between 18 and 20” if he did. He has been playing golf for about 12 years and his best score is a 74 at the par-65 Lynnwood Golf Course.
Despite the two stupefying shots for the albatross and ace, Dyer shot 13-over 83 at Highlander. He is now the state’s poster boy for one of golf’s truths — average players are capable of amazing things.
What Dyer did on two holes on the same round in East Wenatchee borders on the unbelievable but was witnessed by his friend, Aaron Fisher of Snohomish, and their pickup partner, Dan Sollom of Wenatchee. Sollom happens to be a golf writer who contributes to The Wenatchee World. Talk about stumbling onto a story.
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Dyer and Fisher played the back nine first to avoid congestion and Sollom joined them at the turn. Dyer gave a preview of what was to come when he almost aced the 142-yard, par-3 18th hole (their ninth hole) when the ball slid past the pin and came to rest 10 inches from the cup.
The threesome had 4½ holes to play when Dyer launched a 3-wood from 230 yards on the 472-yard par-5 hole No. 5.
“That looks like it went in,” a stunned Dyer told his playing partners.
“We got to the green and it was in the hole,” he said.
Fisher told him it was too bad that the near-ace six holes earlier hadn’t dropped because that would have been a remarkable combination — ace and albatross. No one knew what was ahead.
Dyer bogeyed the sixth hole, then on the 140-yard seventh hole he hit a solid 9-iron.
“It took one bounce and hit the flag and dropped in,” he said.
Dyer and his companions whooped and hollered in delight and disbelief after the ace.
“After the hole, I was really shaken up. Maybe I should have quit,” he said half-jokingly. He bogeyed the next hole.
Fisher estimates the two shots were made within 20 minutes of each other.
The website doubleagleclub.org lists nine golfers, including the late UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who have accomplished the feat of making a double-eagle and a hole-in-one in the same round. Wooden did it in 1939 on an Indiana course.
Chie Arimura, now on the LPGA Tour, isn’t on that website’s list but she had a double-eagle and an ace in the same round on the Japanese LPGA Tour in 2011.
Dean Knuth, who invented the slope rating system for courses and handicaps, has been quoted as estimating the odds of a double-eagle at about one million to one for average golfers. Golf Digest has calculated the odds of a hole-in-one for an amateur are 12,500 to 1.
About.com golf writer Brent Kelley writes that there are approximately 40,000 aces every year in the U.S. but only “a couple hundred” double-eagles, either 2s on par-5s or aces on drivable par-4s.
Fisher summed up the round and the two oh-my-goodness shots by his friend with these words: “It was just his day.”
Jack McMullin, 12, from Seattle, is one of 88 junior golfers who will compete Sunday at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club in the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championship final.
The road to Augusta National began with local qualifying last summer, which involved more than 10,000 boys and girls.