Just another ho-hum round for Pat Curran at West Sayville Golf Course on Tuesday. A smooth 7-iron from 145 yards found the bottom of the cup for an ace on the eighth hole.
How many is that now? Make it No. 32.
"I’m just as lucky [as can be],” said the 62-year-old retired homebuilder from Oakdale. “What else can I say?”
In 2015, Newsday chronicled Curran’s feats of skill and magic after he made his 24th ace. The very first one came in 1978, and Curran’s ball has been a pinseeker ever since. That includes two aces on par-4 holes, at Brentwood and The Ponds at Lake Grove. He also has three double-eagles on par-5 holes.
And to think that Curran has overcome four back surgeries to do this.
"I’ve moved up to the senior tees since I’ve had four back surgeries so I can’t swing like I used to,” Curran said. “I had to hit a 7-iron to go 145 yards [on Tuesday]. Before I could hit a pitching wedge that far. I moved up two years ago.”
Curran is a lifelong golfer, nowadays playing three times a week mostly at public courses in Suffolk County and maintaining a 4 handicap, a number that indicates that he has a good deal of skill to go along with an extraordinary amount of luck.
He’s played all over the place and aced all over the place, racking them up in South Carolina, Florida, California, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
"I've played everywhere the PGA Tour played, I traveled all the time and played at every course they ever played all through my life,” Curran said. “I’ve been playing almost 50 years."
The most special of his aces might have been in 2007 at Green Tree Golf Club in Victorville, California, when he had his then 7-year-old grandson Joseph along.
"He went berserk, he ran the whole hole yelling ‘Papa got a hole in one,’” Curran said.
Curran has a shrine to his ace legacy at home, taking up the better part of two walls with the balls he used, the attested scorecards and certificates of authenticity.
Tuesday could have been an even more incredible round for Curran, a man who has had his share of incredible experiences on a golf course.
"Believe it or not on the 17th hole I landed an inch in front of the pin and it stopped two feet past it,” he said.
Darn the luck.
Bensel takes seniors
Frank Bensel of the Century Country Club won the Met PGA Senior Professional Championship at the North Hills Country Club on Tuesday with a two-round total of five-under-par 139. Scott Wise of the host club finished in a tie for fifth along with Sean Farren of the The Creek Club and Jim Farrell of the Hamlet G&CC.
Pat Curran, West Sayville GC No. 8, 145 yards, 7-iron
Domenick DiGirolamo, Bethpage Red No. 7, 148 yards, 6-iron
Dave Gillmor, Northport GC No. 7, 120 yards, 9-iron
Michael Healy, Timber Point Blue No. 5, 207 yards, 4-iron
Michael Home, Island’s End No. 11, 170 yards, 3-hybrid
Neville Reece, Island’s End No. 11, 160 yards, 7-iron
Joe Savino, Cherry Creek Woods No. 13, 190 yards, hybrid
Steven Tornetta, Robert Moses No. 18, 100 yards, sand wedge