Even the greatest holes-in-one day in major championship history, the round with four aces during the 1989 U.S. Open at Oak Hill, was no match for what happened at Shinnecock Hills a week ago Friday. At Oak Hill, it was a matter of a receptive location on one hole. With the four holes-in-one during Shinnecock's member-guest tournament, it was all about stellar shots and remarkable coincidence.
"I've never seen two in a club event, let alone four," said Jack Druga, head pro at the club that will host the 2018 U.S. Open. "Pretty amazing."
Shinnecock's four aces occurred on three different holes (all of the par 3s except No. 7, the green that became infamously dry and fast during the 2004 Open) during the event officially known as the Presidents Invitational.
The first was by guest Seth Waugh, the longtime CEO of Deutsche Bank, founder of the Deutsche Bank Championship, one of the owners of the Long Island Ducks and father of accomplished amateur golfer Clancy Waugh. He used a 7-iron from 150 yards on No. 11 (a hole so difficult that Lee Trevino called it "the shortest par 5 in the world"). Jack Curtin, a member, also aced it from 146 yards with an 8-iron.
Rick Salomon, another member, used a 7-iron from 149 yards on No. 17, then Stephen Jones, a guest, completed the feat on No. 3 with a 3-hybrid from 193 yards.
Drinks were on the club, Druga said, adding, "It was disappointing, the next day. Nobody made one."
LIer is St. Andrews bound
Prescott Butler of Old Westbury used to be totally immersed in hockey as an AAA-level junior player, his father, Alan, said. Then he picked up a different kind of stick and became hooked on golf. He has progressed so much that he will play in St. Andrews, Scotland this week as a member of Team USA in the International Junior Golf Tour's Euro Cup.
Butler studies at the Hank Haney Academy in South Carolina and plays locally at Piping Rock and the Meadow Brook Club. Having recently finished 18th at the Bridgestone Tournament of Champions at the Grand Cypress Club in Orlando, he will compete in the boys 14-and-under division.
Two aces for one player
John Blasko took up golf 36 years ago, when he quit playing in baseball leagues at age 35. It wasn't until last month that he made his first hole-in-one, with a 9-iron on the 130-yard seventh hole at Pine Ridge Golf Club in Coram. He figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime achievement, one that earned him a place in Newsday's Aces listing Thursday. Except that on Wednesday, he played the same course, the same hole, with the same club and, he said, "You guessed it," another ace.
LIer's Pebble Beach event
Joe Horowitz of Long Beach will play all over the continent this summer alongside some big names. The mini-tour pro, who made the cut this week in the New York State Open, has been invited to the Callaway Pebble Beach Tournament, along with Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman and others. "I'm the least known person there by far," he said. Horowitz also is a musician and will perform at the Ottawa Folk Festival, headlined by Neil Young.
LI Amateur at Black
The Michael Hebron Amateur Championship, the Long Island Golf Association's top stroke-play amateur event, will be tomorrow and Tuesday at Bethpage Black. The public is invited. Hebron, the Hall of Fame director of golf at Smithtown Landing, this month published another book, "Modernizing Approaches to Learning," which is pertinent for golf, and everything else.
The Third Annual Rosella Vigliotta Golf Outing, for the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation, will be Friday at Rock Hill Golf & Country Club, Manorville. Call (631) 878-0821.