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Cruden Bay golfers George Connon and Neil Birnie record aces at same hole, defying 17 million to one odds

From left, Neil Birnie and George Connon, who both aced the ninth hole on the St Olaf Course at Cruden Bay. Picture by Chris Sumner
From left, Neil Birnie and George Connon, who both aced the ninth hole on the St Olaf Course at Cruden Bay. Picture by Chris Sumner

Two Cruden Bay golfers pulled off a 17 million to one feat when they both aced the same hole, one after the other.

Members George Connon and Neil Birnie, whose association with the club stretches back more than 50 years to their junior days, were playing on Thursday when Connon, 58, aced the 125-yard ninth hole of the St Olaf Course using a wedge.

However, his playing partner Birnie, 66, was not to be outdone and he duly matched the feat with an ace of his own using a nine iron.

A stunned Birnie admits both have been struggling to take in the magnitude of their incredible achievement.

He said: “It is remarkable we both holed in one at the same hole, an extraordinary event indeed. George played first and we saw it going into the hole.

“His tee shot landed on the left hand side of the green and bounced into the hole and I remember saying to him ‘I think that’s gone in’.

“Standing over my shot I was thinking to myself ‘I need to hole this for a half’ and lo and behold it landed beside the hole, bounced, hit the flagpole and dropped into the hole.

“It’s one of those once in a lifetime things.”

The aces were not the first for either player, but Birnie has no doubt they will be the most memorable.

He said: “We have both been members at Cruden Bay for years since we were juniors. I joined in 1968 and George lives in Cruden Bay, so it’s been his club all these years too.

“He has had three aces before, while this was my second, but I never believed we would both get another on the same hole, one shot after the other.

“To be fair George has been a scratch golfer, while the best I got to was a handicap of two. I’m playing off 14 or 15 these days and age is catching up with us, but we still enjoy playing.

“We normally play in a foursome three times a week, but due to Covid our buddies play in one pair and we play in another. They were a hole and a bit behind us when it happened.”

The national hole in one registry puts the chances of a low-handicapper making an ace at 5,000 to one with the two players making an ace at the same hole rated at 17 million to one.

The chances of one player making two holes-in-one in the same round is 67 million to one.

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