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Golf

It's in the hole ... once, then twice

Paula Troell was having trouble with her golf game. Until a hole-in-one on the fourth hole. And one on the fifth.

By BOB HARIG
Published February 27, 2004

Imagine the bar bill. It could have been as astronomical as the odds of making back-to-back holes-in-one. Paula Troell was fortunate on both counts.

After making consecutive aces Wednesday at an executive course in Lady Lake, Troell was spared having to buy the customary round of drinks. Perhaps her playing partners were too stunned to make her pay.

"It's pretty amazing," said Troell, 72, a golfer for 22 years who never had made a hole-in-one.

Troell used a pitching wedge to ace the 75-yard fourth hole, then a 3-wood on the 123-yard fifth at Saddlebrook Executive Golf Club, one of the courses in the Villages community.

According to Golf Magazine, the odds of two aces in the same round are about 67-million-to-1. There are no known odds of aces on consecutive holes.

In Troell's case, the odds seemed even worse. Because of arthritic knees, she has been struggling with her game. Only the day before, she had gone to a newly opened Arnold Palmer-designed course at the Villages golf community for help.

"They have a new training center, and I went to visit one of the pros there," she said. "He had given me some advice since I have limited movement in my legs. I'm mostly all arms, but what they said seemed to work the next day."

Troell said she is a 25-handicap golfer who plays three days a week, mostly on the executive courses in her community. Her husband, whom she pushed to take up the game more than three decades ago when they lived in New Jersey, is a 14-handicap who has had three holes-in-one.

But he didn't witness either made by his wife, whose Wednesday morning game was rained out. A later tee time opened up, and she joined three strangers for a scramble, which means no individual scores are kept.

"He's a good player; I'm just a duffer," Paula Troell said of her husband, Charlie. "He couldn't believe it. He said, "Do you have any idea what the odds are?' I said I had no idea, but he thought it was even higher than the 67-million. It's incredible."

To celebrate, the Troells ventured into Ocala for dinner on Wednesday night. On Thursday, she was back at the golf course to play nine holes and had plenty of golfers wanting to "rub against me for good luck."

She did not, however, have to buy drinks for the house.

"I'm really lucky," she said.

- Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

[Last modified February 27, 2004, 01:31:31]


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