Here’s perhaps the safest bet for this week’s PGA Championship: Four players won’t make holes-in-one on the same day at No. 6 of Oak Hill’s East Course. Sounds like a silly bet, of course, but it happened during the second round of the 1989 U.S. Open on the East.
There’s no way that exact feat will reoccur in this year’s PGA Championship on the same layout, because that hole no longer exists.
In a two-hour span that morning in 1989, Doug Weaver, Mark Wiebe, Jerry Pate and Nick Price each made an ace on the 167-yard par 3. The hole wasn’t exactly in a bowl, but it was pretty close, having been cut into the base of a swale. None of the four holes-in-one flew into the cup, each instead landing left, right or beyond the flag then curling into the cup. Each player used a 7-iron.
An amazing occurrence, for sure. It had never happened before in major championship or PGA Tour golf. Before the round, tournament officials had noted that it was a likely spot for ace, and they ended up with four.
That hole isn’t on the course any longer, thanks to a recent renovation by architect Andrew Green to Donald Ross’s layout in Rochester, New York. That sixth hole from 1989 was created during a 1970s renovation to the course by George Fazio and Tom Fazio. Green ripped it out, instead installing a new par 3 as No. 5. Green’s new No. 6 is a punishing par 4 that plays over and along a creek, earning the name Double Trouble. The hole is listed on the scorecard at 503 yards.
Not that a repeat of what has been dubbed the “Four Aces” – not to be confused with the LIV team of the same name – was likely anyways. The PGA of America reports that the odds of any Tour player making an ace on a given par 3 are 3,000 to 1. The National Hole-in-One Association calculated at the time that the odds of four Tour pros acing the same hole in one day to be 8.7 million to one, although such a friendly hole location that allows balls to break into the cup from multiple directions surely improved those odds a bit.
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