Pair of aces: Consecutive holes-in-one at Lindenwood are 17-million-to-1 shots

March 28, 2014

Lee Pfender and Joe Semieraro might want to put the golf clubs away for the season. Why?

It can’t get any better than Thursday.

The two golfers – Pfender from Washington and Semieraro from Baldwin – stood on the tee box on the No. 4 hole of Lindenwood Golf Club’s Gold Course, staring at the pin 146 yards away.

Pfender pulled a 6-iron from his bag of Callaways, then sent a beautiful shot to the green. The ball trickled back and dropped into the hole for an ace.

“We’re yelling, ‘It went in the hole. It went into the hole,’ and he’s bent down picking up his tee,” said Semieraro, who works for Erie Insurance. “He didn’t even see it.”

Semieraro was next and selected a 5-hybrid from his bag, sent a nearly identical shot onto the green and his ball trickled back and on top of Pfender’s.

Back-to-back holes-in-one.

“Joe told me before his tee shot to go down there and take the ball out of the hole,” said Pfender, a 67-year-old retired social worker. “He said, ‘Make room for me.’”

The incredible feat occurred Thursday in the Bodnar Realty League at Lindenwood. It was Semieraro’s second hole-in-one and Pfender’s third. Pfender aced the same hole two years ago and had another one at Carmichaels Golf Course in the 1980s.

It was the seventh hole-in-one scored on that hole since 2012.

Jack Sewok also was in the group and witnessed the event. Pfender shot 44 and Semieraro 41 for the nine.

“One of the funny parts was that Lee lost a skin even with a hole-in-one,” the 47-year-old Semieraro said with a laugh.

“Me and Lee bought rounds, so he lost the skin and spent money on beers.”

What made Pfender’s ace so remarkable was that he suffers from macular degeneration, a loss of vision because of a damaged retina, in his left eye.

“I made fun of him because he’s 20 years younger than me but he used a 5-hybrid and I used a 6-iron,” Pfender joked.

According to the National Hole-in-One Registry, the odds of two players from the same group recording an ace on the same hole are about 17 million to one.

“People were cheering from the first hole,” Pfender said. “They were yelling, ‘I can’t believe that.’ The balls were lying on top of each other. I’ve been golfing a long time – although I’m not sure what I do is what you could call golfing – and I can’t believe this happened.”

It was probably the same feeling Greg Bontrager and Justin Pressnall felt in 2011. The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle reported that the two had back-to-back aces in a match play event June 23 on a par-3, 212-yard hole.

“How do you top that?” Semieraro said.

Pfender intends to try.

“I’m going out Monday,” he said.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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