Ian Stawicki wasn’t even supposed to play golf on Tuesday.
But his boss at Classic Lanes in Greenfield, Wisconsin, texted him on Monday to see if he wanted to play in the Stars and Stripes Scramble at The Golf Club in Lomira. With the bowling alley closed this week, the 40-year-old Stawicki was in.
Sami Williams, 27, was participating for the third straight year in the event that benefits local veterans. The physical therapist was one of the first to tee off on No. 13.
By the end of their rounds, the two golf-loving strangers would be tied together by bizarre strokes of fate with their first holes-in-one coming on the same day, in the same event, on the same hole.
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Williams’ ace came on that Lucky No. 13, using a 9-iron from the forward’s tees at 114 yards.
“I got up there to hit and then it’s flying and it’s like ‘Oh, that’s a really good line if it’s long enough,’ ” Williams said. “Then we were like ‘Oh, it bounced right in front of the hole.’ Then it went bounce, bounce, in. And you could see it the whole way because we were up on the elevated tee box.
“Because it was the first hole, nobody had basically started playing yet. It was a shotgun start. So everybody heard me scream and they’re like ‘Oh, that seems to be a bit more excitement than a birdie.’ “
Stawicki’s group was just underway and wondered what the ruckus was about. A few hours later they came to the 13th hole. Stawicki was golfing with three women, so he was the only one to tee off from 176 yards using a 7-iron.
“I hit it and on the left side of the beginning of the green there is a hill,” Stawicki said. “And it slopes toward the hole and I hit it and I was kind of walking it off. I saw the ball roll and then I lost it and I kind of said ‘OK.’ Everyone else was like ‘Where did it go?’
“I said, ‘I don’t want to say it, but it might be in the hole.’ They were like ‘Yeah, right. Whatever.’ So we drive down to the next tier for them to tee off and my cart partner goes ‘I don’t see your ball on the green. Are you sure?’ I said, ‘I’m positive it’s on the green.’ “
When they arrived for a closer inspection, there was a beacon of light illuminating the hole. All that was missing was a chorus of heraldic angels.
“The sun was actually shining on the ball,” Stawicki said. “So it lit up the golf ball and you could see it. And I just started going nuts.”
He soon found out the even nuttier coincidence.
“They had a fivesome on the hole over, and they said ‘Somebody else had one on that hole a couple hours ago,’ ” Stawicki said. “I’m like ‘This was the same hole?’ They were like ‘Yeah’ and I’m like ‘This is insane!’ “
Not long after Stawicki’s shot, Williams finished her round at No. 12.
“The cart girl came over and goes, ‘Oh, I hate to tell you but I just gave shots to another guy who hit a hole-in-one on the same hole you did,’ ” Williams said. “I’m like ‘Really?’ “
Workers at The Golf Club at Camelot estimate they average three holes-in-one per year. It’s not immediately clear if what Stawicki and Williams accomplished has happened before in the state. But it happened in Illinois in 2017, with a story on PGA.com noting that “according to the National Hole-in-One Registry, the odds of two amateur golfers getting aces on the same hole at the same golf course on the same day are about 17 million-to-1.”
For that rare feat, Stawicki and Williams split two cases of Sprecher Root Beer given to the “closest to the pin” golfer at the Stars and Stripe Scramble.
Stawicki said he plays in about a dozen outings per year, with another one in a few weeks.
“I’m more of an avid bowler,” Stawicki said. “And I’ve had multiple 300 games. My first hole-in-one, I mean, maybe kind of set yourself up for a higher level and now you want another one.”
Williams played golf at Sussex Hamilton High School and Lakeland College. She still gets on the course about once a month. That ace has stoked the competitive fires.
“I’m going to keep playing,” she said. “My dad has three, so I have more to get.”