2 golfers beat huge odds, hit holes-in-one during same round _lowres

Advocate staff photo by GEORGE MORRIS -- Wayne Wroten, left, and Bill Latham each hit a hole-in-one during a round they played with two other golfers Oct. 1 at the LSU Golf Course. The odds of two holes-in-one by an amateur foursome are 1.3 million to 1.

As rare as they are, holes-in-one aren’t quite a one-in-a-million experience for golfers. But what happened to one local foursome was at least that unusual.

On Oct. 1 at the LSU Golf Course, Wayne Wroten, Bill Latham, René Vicknair and Randy Ellis saw two holes-in-one in the same round — in fact, only two holes apart. According to Golf Digest magazine, the odds of that happening to an amateur foursome are 1.3 million to 1. (The odds of an amateur golfer getting a hole-in-one at any time are a mere 1 in 12,500.)

Wroten, 69, got it started at No. 8, the second of the course’s four par-3 holes, the only holes designed for a tee shot to reach the putting surface. On this day, the hole was 110 yards from the tees the group was playing at LSU’s twice-weekly senior tournament.

“It hit just a foot past the hole,” Wroten said. “No. 8 at LSU is kind of sloped … from back to front, and it hit past the hole and backed up into the hole. Any time you make a hole-in-one, it’s a lucky shot.”

Handshakes and high-fives ensued, and not for the last time.

At No. 10, Latham, 77, pulled out a gap wedge and took dead aim at the flag 100 yards away. He knew it was close but wasn’t immediately sure it was in.

“I saw it hit, I thought, right in front of the pin, and I couldn’t tell whether it went in or went behind the pin,” he said. “It had to be in or right behind with the pin hiding it.”

His playing partners were pretty sure it was in, and they were right. That left Vicknair and Ellis hoping it was their turn at the next par-3 hole, No. 13. “Yeah, we were thinking that, but it didn’t happen,” Vicknair said.

For both Wroten and Latham, it was their second hole-in-one. Latham’s previous ace was about 30 years ago, he said, at the Dumas Memorial Golf Course in Baker. Wroten’s first hole-in-one also came at LSU at the second hole. He also has witnessed a hole-in-one at LSU’s 13th hole.

“Now, I’ve seen a hole-in-one on every par-3 at LSU,” he said.

No telling what the odds are of that.