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Luckiest Golfer in the World  by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Luckiest Golfer in the World

       Curt Hocker of El Paso, Illinois shot five hole-in-ones last week says Jim Benson of the Bloomfield, Illinois Pantagraph. If true, and this was on a regular 18-hole-course, not putt-putt, this is the greatest roll of luck and skill in the history of golf.  

    Two of his hole-in-ones came in one round, a feat that Golf Digest places the odds at 9.2 million-to-one. Golf Digest never computed the odds that one of the hole-in-ones came on a par 4, which is what happened. We’re thinking, conservatively, 60 million-to-one. Add to that, a black president being elected in the same week, I don’t think we have that many zeros. Not even if we steal all the zeros from the recent financial bailout amount. Not even if we break into the Cheerios factory and empty all their boxes on the floor. 

    Four out of five of Hocker’s hole-in-ones last week came on Par 4s. For those at home keeping score, that’s four double-eagles in a week. They made a big deal when Jacqueline Gagne shot eight holes-in-one in thirteen weeks back in May of 2007 but it is no comparison. How big a deal did they make it when Gagne ran her streak in Palm Springs, California? Mathematicians went bonkers. Professor Michael McJilton of the College of the Desert Math Department spent a week on the calculations. When McJilton’s eyes stopped spinning, he landed at 114 million billion (114 quadrillion)… again, not enough Cheerios boxes. To put this in better perspective it would be easier to win the Mega Millions lottery… thirty times.  

    We were prepared to be very, very skeptical, which is one reason we didn’t immediately run this story. After all, we bit on the Bigfoot-in-a-freezer hoax and prefer dining on crow only once a season.  Hocker is only 22-years-old but is an amateur scratch golfer. He works at the El Paso Golf Club, knows the course, and has had different witnesses (fifteen to be exact) for each of his remarkable shots. In two years, Hocker has recorded ten aces at El Paso with three of them last year on the par-3 ninth hole. Yes, El Paso does have several short par 4s. He aces the Par 4 No. 18 on Tuesday. On Wednesday of last week he scored his second ace at No. 1, a 278 yard hole with a blind shot to the green. Then Friday he again aces the 345 yard 18th hole. On Saturday he pitches a wedge 140 yards into the hole on No. 3. Then, in the same round, went over the trees on the 12th (328 yard dogleg) to roll home.
    On Saturday, Hocker and his playing partners, Red Marcus and Mike Blake, spend twenty minutes on Hole No.12 looking for the ball. It’s a blind hole and Hocker cut the dogleg over the trees so no one saw it land. Bunkers surround the green and Hocker’s playing companions inspected each of the five bunkers. Here’s how Jim Benson said the conversation went:
Luckiest Golfer in the World  by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles
    “Where’d the ball go?” asked Red Marcus, “Did it run off the back of the green? Did you check back in the trees?”
    “Curt’s back there now. If it hit the pines, it could have bounced anywhere,” answers Mike Blake.
    “You know what?” Red says. “It’s probably in the hole. It’s probably in the freaking hole. I’m going to look in the…. Oh my god… It’s….”   
    Like we said, jillions to one this could have happened. By the way, on August 7th of this year young Mr. Hocker scored two double-eagles in one round, one on a par 4 and one on a 507 yard par 5. Should we do it? Should we call up Dr. McJilton and ask him to compute the odds of two double eagles in one round followed by four double eagles in a week three months later? Would you like to see his eyes bulge and smoke fly out his ears? I’m sure he’ll have to rent time on a Cray to do this. Would you like to see a computer explode? Would that be fun?

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