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er has a 12,000-to-1 cha

  • 23 May 2019
    PHOENIX -- The dimpled ball soared in a parabolic arc, landing 10 feet behind and a little right of the flagstick. Immense spin created by crisp contact pulled the ball back on the firm, tightly-mown grass, slope turning the ball toward the cup.This was it. After more than 160 swings over three rounds, we were finally going to witness a hole-in-one.Instead, the ball trickled to a stop six inches to the right. Great shot, just not an ace.Think about all the rounds of golf youve played and how many hole-in-ones youve had, said Matthew Phillips, GM and head pro at Palm Valley Golf Club. Its not an easy thing to do.Thats for sure.According to the National Hole-in-One Registry, an average golfer has a 12,000-to-1 chance at an ace. Low-handicap players its a 5,000-to-1 shot, tour players 3,000 to 1.But its not just the odds that make aces among sports most magical moments.Unlike rolling 300 in bowling or tossing a no-hitter in baseball, a hole-in-one is possible for anyone, with a little skill and lots of luck; 3-year-olds are in the aces club, so are centenarian grandmothers.My buddy Jeff Locke and I were already members -- twice for me, once for him -- so we figured we could at least scare the hole if not knock one in, given enough cracks at it.We tried stacking the odds, playing Palm Valleys 4,745-yard Lakes Course because it has 10 par 3s instead of the standard four. Arizona also has the third-most aces in the United States, matching Michigan with 5 percent, so we were in a good place to do it.The quest nearly ended right after it started. Hitting first, Locke pured a wedge on the opening par 3 -- the 118-yard third hole -- sending it on a direct line toward the flag.How about a walk-off on the first shot? I said as the ball floated toward the flagstick.Nope. It landed 18 feet away to set up a good birdie chance, but no ace.Weve got this, I said as we walked back to the cart.Foolish thinking.The next three-plus hours were spent hitting balls toward flagsticks between 109 and 182 yards away, none really having any chance of going in. Our best shot after 15 holes and 60 shots -- we played the back 9 twice -- was 5 feet, by Locke on our second chance at No. 15.We originally planned to play one round, hopefully get our ace and be done with it. Disgusted with our performance, we wanted another shot.Maybe Ill get a ringer for the next round, said Locke, who works for golf marketing firm Communication Links.He did, adding aspiring tour player Kyle Maze and Dale Moseke of OB Sports Golf Management for our next round.Maze, who works at Papago Golf Course in Phoenix, had a fluid, effortless swing, the exact opposite of my Tin Man-lurching-at-the-ball move.He hit a couple of solid shots the first two par 3s, then stepped up to the 173-yard sixth hole.The 7-iron is my favorite club, Maze said as he took a couple practice swings with it. I had both of my hole-in-ones with a 7.It makes sense. Of all aces, 7-irons match 8-irons in producing the most, accounting for 14 percent each.Maze gave himself a chance at it, too, drawing a shot right at the flag.Perfectly on line, it hit six inches from the hole and ... kicked left. The ball stays straight, maybe it goes in. Instead, he had a 12-foot birdie putt -- another good shot, no ace.Maze and Moseke had to leave after nine holes, and Locke and I somehow got worse on the back nine; our closest shot was eight feet, again on No. 17.Well, that was pathetic, I said to Locke, who nodded his head in agreement. Guess well have to do this one more time.For the final round, we enlisted another ringer, Aaron Ramos, a junior at Desert Edge High School who won the 2015 Division II state championship.Locke and I hit some good shots -- seven inside 10 feet -- before being joined by Ramos and Junior Golf Association of Arizona executive director Scott McNevin for a second 18.After some quality shots on the front nine, Ramos stepped to the 10th tee with pitching wedge in hand.With a fluid motion, he sent a shot that appeared to be too far right. Once it hit the green, spin pulled the ball back as if it were on a string anchored inside the cup. We watched with hope as the ball took the slope toward the cup, only to grimace as it stopped just to the right.I think that was the one, I said.It was. We really didnt come close after that.One hundred-seventy four swings between a golf professional, a top junior player, three people who work in the golf industry and one hacking sports writer, and no hole-in-one.According to the odds, thats precisely what should have happened. Cheap NCAA Jerseys Authentic . The visitors took a deserved lead in the 16th minute with midfielder Yohan Cabaye curling the ball beyond Adrian from inside the penalty area. Authentic NCAA Jerseys . With their top three point guards and Kobe Bryant all sidelined by injury, the Lakers signed Marshall out of the D-League on Friday before their home game against Minnesota. . Breaking three of his own world records on his way to winning in Paris, Chan silenced the critics and left the audiences standing in appreciation and awe. Wholesale NCAA Jerseys . The injury bothered Bledsoe in the Suns victory over the Clippers on Monday and he sat out the teams home loss to Memphis on Thursday night. College Basketball Jerseys China . -- Ryan Getzlaf grabbed the three pucks wrapped in tape and held them up to his chest in the Anaheim Ducks dressing room for a celebration nine seasons in the making. Jason Taylor and his Wests Tigers face the biggest test of their new direction and faith in Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses against NRL title contenders Canterbury on Saturday night.Tigers management have been forced to make some tough choices over the last 12 months after their decision to invest in young halves Brooks and Moses.Martin Taupaus move to Manly in an effort to free up salary cap space and the release of Blake Austin to Canberra has centred around the belief their young halves are the future of the club.Taylor has been a frequent target of critics but has always maintained that he was acting in the best interests of the organisation.But the 21-year-olds face a crucial examination against the surging Dogs without senior players Robbie Farah, Aaron Woods and James Tedesco on Saturday night.Our halves taking ownership is what weve built our last six or eight weeks on, Taylor said.Ill be disappointed if that doesnt happen. I want that to continue.Well miss those guys because theyre quality players but the opposition has got some key players out as well.Farah, Woods and Tedesco will miss the ANZ Stadium clash because of State of Origin with JJ Felise, Joel Edwards and Josh Addo-Carr coming in. Fill-in fullback Jordan Rankin suffered a rolled ankle at training during the week but Taylor said he was hopeful of playing.The Bulldogs will be without NSW stars David Klemmer and Josh Jackkson however thats offset by the return of New Zealand international Greg Eastwood.ddddddddddddThe Bulldogs have jumped into the top four for the first time this year following three straight wins, with statistics showing they have been one of the most disciplined teams in the competition this year.They are second for completion rates (78.5 per cent), miss the second fewest tackles (21.1 per game), while their giant forward pack has been able to make the third most metres per game (average 1510 metres).Its always hard to gauge, we think we can play a bit better than the last outing, Canterbury coach Des Hasler said when asked if they were at their best yet.I just think its too early, were still just getting through this last Origin patch.But what you want to try to do is build momentum and I think thats pretty important.STATS THAT MATTER* Hooker Dene Halatau will move into equal sixth on the all-time Tigers list for matches played, equalling Keith Galloway with 173 matches.* Canterbury have been the dominant team in this fixture, winning 19 of 30 matches.* Wests Tigers downfall this season has been its defence. They have conceded the second most points (25.4 per game), tries (4.4), linebreaks (5.8) and conceded the most offloads (11.2).Source: Fox Sports Stats ' ' '