Unlucky Hole in One?


Shannon O'Donnell

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…a broken leg?

Every so often, we air ‘too incredible to be true’ hole in one stories on our newscasts. Just this April, you saw the one about 102-year-old Elsie McLean accomplishing this feat. Shortly after, we heard about two San Jose brothers making back-to-back aces in the same round. Golf Digest said the odds of two players in the same foursome doing this is something like 17 million-to-one. So, I’m wondering what the odds of sinking that shot AND breaking your leg in the same weekend might be, especially when that hole-in-one inadvertently CAUSES the broken limb…

My husband knows a thing or two about this, because it happened to him. It was May of 1999, and we’d been dating for a few months. He took in the usual round of Saturday golf at a local course in Seattle, and voila! A hole-in-one. Boy was he excited, especially when he found out it was in print in the Sunday edition of the Seattle Times. We were supposed to get together for a movie that Sunday evening, but my newish boyfriend didn’t show up. I waited and waited and grew pretty tired of it–how dare he stand me up! This was before the days of widespread cell phone use (isn’t that funny–even in 1999, it wasn’t as if everyone had one like they do today), so I couldn’t call him to see what the hold up was. However, about an hour later, I head a funny sound outside my house…

Looking out the window, I see my then-boyfriend Peter, red-faced and in anguish, hopping along on one foot. He sits down on my porch as I come out to see what’s wrong, and he tells me he was run over by his own car!

On the way to my house, he’d stopped at a 7/11 to get a few copies of the paper, so he could save a few, plus mail the ‘hole-in-one’ excerpt to his relatives. He was driving his Dad’s old MG Spider at that time, and he’d neglected to properly engage the parking brake when he jumped out of the car. Apparently, he was opening the newspaper box and looked up, only to see his car rolling down the slight incline of the parking lot, straight at him. Not to mention, straight at the glass windows of the 7/11!

In a split second decision, he dropped the papers and jumped in front of the slowly rolling car, trying to stop it before it crashed into the store. He succeeded, but got his foot stuck between the curb and the car in the process… SNAP!

After a long night at the ER, it was determined his leg was indeed broken. Yes, in life you take the yin with the yang, the bitter with the sweet. Would he take that hole-in-one again, knowing the price was a broken leg? Doubtful!

Shannon O’Donnell
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist


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