Rich Lownes admitted that it took him a while to calm down after making a hole-in-one on the 117-yard eighth hole at Manufacturers Golf and Country Club in Oreland during a member-member tournament.
When he later reached the 13th hole, a tough, 222-yard par-3, Lownes took out a 5-wood, made a good swing, saw his ball hit the green and roll toward the hole — and thought the unthinkable.
“When I hit that shot, I was just beside myself,” he said. “I said, ‘That might have gone in.’”
His partner, Jimmy Muller, wasn’t going to wait.
“I said, ‘Richie, shut the [bleep] up,’” Muller said. “I jumped in the cart and drove down to make sure, and started doing my happy dance.”
The ball had rolled in to give Lownes, a 66-year-old financial adviser from Fort Washington, two holes-in-one Saturday in the opening round of the weekend Bud Lewis Azalea Tournament. The National Hole-In-One Registry reports that the odds of an “average” player making two aces in the same round are 67 million to 1.
Speaking four days after his amazing feat, Lownes, who sports a 6.1 handicap index, was still processing what had happened.
“When people say it takes a while to sink in, it really does take a long time to sink in,” he said Wednesday. “It was pretty crazy. It’s still hard to grasp. You’re thinking, ‘There’s got to be a lot of people that have done this,' but one in 67 million, not a lot of people have done it.
“To grasp the enormity of it, it’s really, really hard to put a handle on it. But hey, it was great. I’m going to frame the two balls. I saved both balls, took them out of play immediately. At least I knew enough to do that and didn’t lose them.”
Lownes, a member at Manufacturers for 26 years, said that lately, his good golf shots have been “coming few and far between, but those were two good ones.”
On his first ace at No. 8, he stepped to the tee right after Muller had knocked his shot 3 feet from the hole and hit a wedge that spun back into the cup, calling it “beyond belief that it would go in when [Muller] was that close.”
After the second ace, when the ball rolled 6 to 8 feet and in, Lownes and Muller — who have been golf partners for more than 30 years — each admitted it was hard to focus on golf the rest of the day.
“It was very difficult,” Lownes said. “It took me a while to calm down after that. It’s very hard to concentrate because everybody’s like, ‘That’s unbelievable.’ You’re trying to get back to normal but it’s very hard to get back to normal.”