What a halve! Is there a recreational game in the world full of more potential drama and excitement than golf? This story out of Fort Myers, Fla., proves the answer to that question is a resounding “no.”
Judy Yanachik (above, right) thought she had the hole won, but RosAnne Atkins (above, left) had other ideas. Tuesday at Verandah Club in Fort Myers, Yanachik and partner Sandy Pearl were facing off against Atkins and partner Nancy Berdan in the club’s member-member match play tournament. When they got to No. 7, a par-3 on the Jack Nicklaus/Jack Nicklaus II-designed Whispering Oak Course, Yanachik was up first and took out a 7-iron.
“It was uphill over a bunker, a 90-yard shot,” Yanachik said. “The wind was in our face so I took an extra club. On the second half of the green was a hill, and my ball was rolling up that hill. It just caught the hill and trickled right down into the hole. We saw it go in. We’re celebrating.” “It takes a U-turn, comes down and falls into the hole and we’re all screaming and yelling,” Atkins said. The other players kind of looked at each other. “I guess we just bag it,” Atkins said. “My partner says ‘Well, we’re not behind or anything. We have to record the scores. Why don’t we all hit?'”
So Pearl, Yanachik’s teammate, hit her shot, then Berdan hit hers. Atkins was next and had a 9-iron. “It’s being recorded so I’m concentrating,” she said. “It was kind of a blind shot,” said Yanachik, 68, who’s from Novi, Michigan, and winters at Verandah. “You couldn’t see where the ball landed.”
Brett Blackburn, an assistant professional at the club, happened to be up near the green watching the players come through. “That second one may have gone in,” he said. “We walk up there and both are there, right in the hole,” Yanachik said. “It was kind of funny — one on top of the other.” “I was going to look for mine, and we look and there’s my ball in the hole,” said Atkins, a 62-year-old from Macungie, Pennsylvania. “We started screaming again. I topped her hole-in-one. We just could not believe it.”
According to Golf Digest, the odds of amateurs making two holes-in-one on the same hole in the same foursome are 26 million to 1.
Both Yanachik and Atkins, whose maiden name is Haberle, had made one previous hole-in-one. Yanachik didn’t see her first one, some 30 years ago — she quipped to her husband that she had made an eagle on a par 3 when she called him. Atkins’ first ace was at Brookside Country Club just before they moved down to Southwest Florida three years ago.
“That was pretty amazing,” Yanachik said. “Since it was in the tournament we thought we took the hole, but instead we halved the darn hole.” Atkins said she couldn’t sleep and was up until 2 or 3 a.m. “The bummer is we had to split the hole,” said Atkins, a 21 handicap who went on with Berdan to win the match.
(Photo: Brett Blackburn/Verandah Club)