Mark Herrmann Newsday columnist Mark Herrmann

Herrmann has covered the Mets and Yankees since 1988, and has been Newsday’s national golf writer since 2002. A former Mets beat reporter, he has covered baseball's special events, including the World Series and the All-Star Game Show More

As soon as Gregory Shaughnessy, laboring with a bad back, bad foot and high handicap, made a hole-in-one on No. 5 at Rockville Links Aug. 27, his friend Ryan Byrne said, “We have to take pictures and enjoy this because it will never happen again.”

Unlike Shaughnessy’s 7-iron shot on the 135-yard hole, Byrne’s prediction was not on target. When they reached the 10th hole, where the tees were 105 from the cup, Shaughnessy pulled out a 9-iron, took a whack and, to the amazement of Byrne (a Rockville Links member), fellow threesome member Joe Alduino, their two caddies and just about everyone who has heard the story ever since, he made another hole-in-one.

Calculating odds of getting two aces in one round is an uncertain science. Some estimates put it at 167 million to one. Suffice to say it seldom happens on the PGA Tour, and when it does, as it did for Brian Harman at The Barclays last year, it is big news. But from a golfer who is, in Byrne’s estimation, a 20- to 30-handicapper? Just about unimaginable.

“The first ace made me chuckle a bit because I was having such a bad round that day,” said Shaughnessy, a Rockville Centre resident who turned 40 in July. He was limping because of his sore back, and a foot that recently had required the extraction of a huge splinter from a dock. It was so bad that he stopped keeping score early. When he made the second ace, all he could think was what it would have been like if he had played in an outing with which he was familiar. “I would have won a Ferrari and 1 million dollars,” he said.

Anyway, it will make a nice tableau, once he mounts the two golf balls on some kind of statue . . .

Well, it would have if he still had either of them. He used the first one on the tee at No. 6 and sliced his drive into the fescue. “Never to be seen again,” he said. On No. 11, he was trying hard to avoid the slice and pulled it left, into the woods.

“All the while we are talking about the odds of two aces in the same round,” Shaughnessy said, “and I joke that I would like to see the statistics on hitting two aces in the same round and losing both balls.”

Men’s team championship approaches

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So, are the golfers in Asharoken better than those in Amityville? Is Seaford the golf capital of Long Island, or is it Sagaponack? We will have a chance to find out Oct. 17, with the first-ever Long Island Village Men’s Team Championship at Lawrence Yacht & Country Club.

It will not be limited to incorporated villages. Anyplace with a ZIP code can send a maximum of two foursomes for a scramble format tournament. Proceeds will go to the Folds of Honor, which supports families of armed service members.

More details will be forthcoming. A copy of the official rules is at Leo McMahon, general manager of the Lawrence club, said there are plans to add women’s, girls and boys championships next year.

Albatross from fairway bunker

Hitting from a fairway bunker is one of the toughest shots in golf. Just not for Steve Weber, who hit a gem with a 5-iron from 205 yards on the par-5 eighth at Timber Point Blue on Tuesday evening. The sun was fading, so he didn’t see where it went. It was only after his wife, Lori, playing in the twosome with him, suggested he look in the cup that he realized he had made an albatross, a double-eagle 2.


When they got home, they learned that their son, Kyle, a rising senior at Smithtown East, nearly had an albatross at Smithtown Landing that same day.