August Leinweber Jr. wasn’t thinking about making history Sunday night: He and son, August III, were just hoping to finish their round of golf before it became too dark.
It was 8:58 p.m. when Leinweber, from Redmond, hit his tee shot on the 18th hole at Echo Falls Golf Club in Snohomish. He could barely make out the island green, with the flag 142 yards away.
He could hear the thump of the ball hitting the green, but it was too dark to see anything else. What he didn’t know for a few minutes was that the ball had gone into the hole.
Amazingly, it was his second hole-in-one in a span of six holes after having never had one in about 40 years of golf before that.
Leinweber, 55, is still trying to wrap his brain around what happened, and the feat he accomplished. According to nationalholeinoneregistry.com, the odds of having two holes-in-one in a round are 67 million to 1.
His odds of being struck by lightning were 134 times greater.
“I am kind of blown away,” said Leinweber, who got a better idea of what he had accomplished when doing research that night. “It’s kind of a weird deal. It doesn’t seem real.”
It was not the type of round in which Leinweber would have expected to have a hole-in-one, let alone two. He had been pushing his irons to the right, so when he got to the uphill 177-yard, 13th hole, he decided to use a 5-wood, a club he was confident he could hit straight.
“We didn’t take a lot of time, and we just hit,” said Leinweber, who did a three-quarter swing to keep the shot from going too far.
He knew it was a good shot, but on that hole he and his son could not see where the ball finished.
“We got up there and my son says, ‘Dad, your ball is in the hole,’ ” Leinweber said. “He said, ‘Dad why aren’t you more excited?’ And I don’t know why. I wasn’t up and down and yelling.”
When they got to the 18th hole, a couple of the groups in front of them had decided it was too dark and had quit playing. But Leinweber, who usually scores in the low 80s, plays the course at least once a week, didn’t need to see the hole real well to know where to hit it.
Right before he hit, a friend called and Leinweber told him to hold for a second while he quickly took his shot, not giving it much thought so he could return to his phone call.
When they got to the green, Leinweber’s son’s ball was visible in the fringe. Leinweber looked all around for his ball — “I didn’t think to look in the hole” — and after not finding it, dropped a ball in the fringe and putted from there.
His putt was a couple feet short and as he walked toward it, he got a very pleasant surprise.
“My first ball was in the hole,” he said. “I was in shock. I can see the first one happening, but the second? It wasn’t real to me. You can’t get two holes-in-one (in one round).”
But, somehow he did. He said he wishes he had seen the balls go in the hole, that it might have seemed more real.
“I think the golf gods were just shining on me that day,” he said.
Three players in PGA Tour history have had two aces in a competitive round: Bill Whedon in 1955, Yusaku Miyazato in 2006 and Brian Harman in 2015.
In 2004, Chris Varallo had two holes-in-one in one round at Liberty Lake Golf Course in Spokane. It is unclear if anyone else in the state has accomplished the feat, but the chance of winning the state lottery with a $1 ticket is about 10 times better.
“I would rather have this than the lottery,” Leinweber said.