A 17,000,000 to 1 shot? Golf Digest reports the odds of two golfers in the same foursome making a hole in one on the same hole are about that long.
When the par-3 hole measures at more than 200 yards and the two golfers making the aces are actually playing against each other in a match you can bet those odds are even longer.
But that didn't stop Kansas golfers Justin Pressnal and Greg Bontrager during a men's league match June 16 at Hesston Golf Park. Pressnal, who does all of the production scheduling for the Bradbury Company in Moundridge, had just taken a 1 up lead at the 16th hole in his nine-hole match with Bontrager, a longtime vocal music teacher now in Buhler. Pressnal then chose 6-iron for the downwind, 212-yard shot on the par-3 17th -- formerly the eighth hole at Hesston but the nines have recently been reversed.
"It was a slight cut shot there," said Pressnal, 28. "It landed on the front edge of the green and rolled right at the pin. You really couldn't tell from out there. It was a pretty long shot so you really couldn't see it for sure.
We knew it was rolling at it but we weren't positive it went in or not."
Bontrager, coming off a double bogey at No. 16 in a tight match and unknowingly facing a loss if he didn't hole out, chose his 23-degree hybrid, took his swing and .
"There was a little knoll there so we weren't celebrating or anything and I'm thinking I've got to get it on the green to have a chance," said the 45-year-old Bontrager, who works part-time on the Hesston course's maintenance crew. "So I teed it up next and Paul (had) the same reaction, he said 'That took the exact same flight and landed and rolled and disappeared.' And we were all going 'Yeah, right Paul.' He was all excited. He’s 19 or 20 years old."
The foursome, which included Paul Voran and Scott Arnold, raced up to the green and saw no golf balls. They looked in the hole and there were the two golf balls. A much-warranted celebration ensued. It even spilled over to the nearby 15th green where another foursome of league players joined in.
"We were making a lot of noise," Bontrager recalled. "Justin and I are high-fiving and everybody is freaking out. Justin and I are laughing and he says 'We've got another hole to play and I'm 1 up on you man.'"
Probably fittingly, after their unlikely halve at No. 17, Bontrager won the 18th hole and the two golfers ended up splitting their match. But the celebration of the dual aces, the first ever for each golfer, spilled into the parking lot and even into the following week as the two players were to host a barbeque at the course in honor of the event.
"That's the plan; this Thursday we're going to have a little celebration, a party there and eat some burgers and do some celebrating," Pressnal said.
"It was pretty cool."