Wednesday, May 22, 2013
By Tom Chard email@example.com
FALMOUTH - What started as a normal round of golf for a foursome at the Portland Country Club on Tuesday quickly became surreal.
Matt Parker, left, of Falmouth hit the first hole-in-one Tuesday at the fourth hole at Portland Country Club, and Travis Ferrante of Portland did the same a few moments later.
Playing together, Matt Parker of Falmouth and Travis Ferrante of Portland each scored a hole-in-one on the same hole. According to a study done for Golf Digest magazine, the odds of that happening are 17 million to 1.
Parker, 34, and Ferrante, 31, were playing with fellow club members Greg Pirone and Dave Hanson. The group stepped onto the tee of the fourth hole, a short but sometimes tricky uphill par-3, over water to a two-tiered green.
About 128 yards from the hole, Parker hit first, using a wedge.
"The pin was about eight yards from the right side on the second level," said Parker. "My shot started over the right side of the green. Usually it stays in that direction, but this one had a nice draw. It hit about three feet above the hole and started rolling backward. It seemed like it took five seconds to roll into the cup. We all went crazy."
Pirone was next. A left-hander who's good enough to have a 4-handicap, he hit a shot that looked better than Parker's.
"He hit it right at the pin," said Parker. "We're thinking we're going to have two holes-in-one. His shot just rolled by on the right."
Next up was Ferrante, who has a 10-handicap. As Ferrante's ball headed toward the green, Parker thought, "His shot looks just like mine.
"It landed five feet behind the pin," Parker said. "I thought his ball might be derailed by my divot, but somehow it missed it. Travis' seemed to take seven seconds to roll in."
"I was stunned when mine went in the hole," said Ferrante, who used a wedge for the second ace of his career.
Hanson, who hit last, put his shot on the left side of the green.
"I started texting to all my friends after my hole-in-one," said Parker. "My hands were shaking so much I could hardly do it. Then Travis knocks it in the hole and I text, 'Wait, you're not going to believe this.'
"It was so bizarre. I've been playing golf for 20 years. I have never had a hole-in-one, never seen one, and then to hit one and have someone put it on top of me was unbelievable," Parker said.
To make the shots official, the foursome had to complete 18 holes. Having teed off just after 4 p.m., and with the weather turning ominous, the group forged ahead with a light rain and distant rumblings of thunder.
The circumstances brought to mind a famous scene from "Caddyshack," in which a clergyman golfer shooting the round of his life gets struck by lightning.
"We felt like the bishop from 'Caddyshack' and we were nervous we wouldn't finish, but we weren't going anywhere unless the sirens told us to get off the course," said Parker.
They finished just after 8 p.m., beating the rain and lightning. Ferrante shot a 79, while Parker had an 82.
"It was exciting," said Ferrante. "Two rainbows, lightning and two holes-in-one. I probably will never see that again."
Remarkably, there was a third hole-in-one on the course that day, according to head pro John Boswell. About 30 minutes earlier, Aaron Pratt of Scarborough aced the par-3 seventh.
Now what are the odds of that?
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:
This story was updated at 9:35 a.m. July 20 to correct the circumstances of the scene in "Caddyshack" in which a character was struck by lightning.