Chris Varallo had always hoped he would be standing in line to buy a lottery ticket or bellied up to a slot machine in some casino on that magical day when Lady Luck decided to jump into his back pocket.
Instead, he was scuffing a little white ball around Liberty Lake Golf Course with three of his friends.
And instead of pocketing millions of dollars, he ended up going through 20 or so of his own after stunning the other three members of his foursome – and himself – by making two holes-in-one during the same round of golf.
“The first one was pretty amazing,” said Varallo, who, on Saturday, aced the 143-yard third hole with a 7-iron and then holed his 8-iron tee shot on the 140-yard 11th. “But after the second, everyone was in utter disbelief. Other people on the course heard the screaming and were coming over to see what had happened.”
Many of them, who had heard the commotion generated by Varallo and his friends after the first hole-in-one, left shaking their heads and wondering, “What are the odds?”
According to Golf Digest, about 67 million to 1. That’s among all golfers, not just 22-handicappers such as Varallo, who, despite his two aces, finished his round 31 strokes over par at 101.
“Feel free to report that,” Varallo, a 31-year-old attorney, said of his inflated score. “After I got that second hole-in-one, I was so screwed up I could barely swing the club anymore. I was amazed I even finished the round.”
His three playing partners, Dave Knutson, Brad McCormick and Stu Randal, had a little different take on Varallo’s late-round struggles.
“He did fall apart a little more than usual after that second one,” said Knutson, who works with both Varallo and McCormick at Witherspoon Kelley Davenport & Toole PS. “But he’s a hack. Even leading up to it, his scorecard read something like 8-7-1-6-7-9 … I mean, I don’t know how it could have happened.”
McCormick was also astounded by what he had witnessed.
“It’s unimaginable,” he said.
Not surprisingly, Varallo didn’t fare too well in his attempt for a third consecutive hole-in-on on the downhill par-3 16th.
“We were all really curious when he stepped to the tee,” McCormick recalled. “But he hit it way left, completely out of bounds.”
The two tee shots Varallo hit into the hole, however, were things of beauty.
“Both of them were good-looking shots,” Knutson said. “In fact, they were almost identical – same trajectory with a little fade. And both of them were one hop and plunk!
“I’m very happy for him, but I’m dreading going back to work, because I’m never going to hear the end of it.”
Varallo, who has never broken 90, called his two aces “the two best shots I’ll ever hit,” and added, “It’s actually kind of sad, because I’m only 31 and I’ve already reached the pinnacle of my athletic career.”
As for the timing of his good fortune?
“I would have rather won the lottery, but, hey, I’ll take this. I’ve got two golf balls and a scorecard I can keep forever.”
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