Ace of a place

Saturday May 24th, 2008

(revised/updated with hole in one there today--vansickle)
Oak Hill, host this week to the Senior PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y., reminds me that lightning strikes only once. There has thus far been no repeat of the miracle of '89 when four golfers scored hole-in-ones at the sixth hole during one round of the U.S. Open. However, the pin was moved for Saturday’s third round to a location similar to the one used on the four-ace day and sure, enough, Bruce Vaughan of Hutchinson, Kan., knocked in an ace in the early afternoon.
As for the four acers, you can earn triple bonus points for naming the lucky golfers. Give up? Thought so. It was Jerry Pate, Nick Price, Mark Wiebe and the guy serious golf fans tend to forget, Doug Weaver.
"It's a great trivia question," Wiebe said.
There was no reunion of the acers. Weaver doesn't play senior golf. Pate limped in, literally, after a first-round 84. "My knee has been bothering me for a couple of weeks," he said. Asked if surgery was needed, he answered, "Yeah, now I need to go get it looked at." He didn't return for the second round.
Price shot an opening-round 74, but he hurt his back Friday and withdrew after nine holes.
That left Wiebe as the lone acer going into the weekend. And yes, he recounted the tale of his ace more than once this week.
"I heard about it a few times this week," Wiebe said. "There are a few people out there who remember. One guy out on the sixth hole the other day said, 'You probably don't remember but I gave you a hug after you made your hole-in-one.' I said, no, I don't remember but get on over here and give me another hug.
"It was a freaky deal, four aces 33 players apart in one hour and 50 minutes. People said, well, it was an easy pin. Yeah, if it was that easy, why didn't anyone make a hole-in-one there in the afternoon?"
Wiebe, 50, who lives in Denver, is a two-time Champions Tour winner. He won twice on the PGA Tour in the 1980s at the Anheuser-Busch Classic and Hardee's Classic. He's had 13 aces, he said, but only one in a U.S. Open. He brought the 7-iron he used for the ace with him and gave it to the Oak Hill Hall of Fame to display.
"I'm in the record book," he said with a grin. "It's nice to be a part of history, man."

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