Patrick Finley: 2 aces in 2 days lift local golfer's spirits

2013-04-29T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:32:02Z Patrick Finley: 2 aces in 2 days lift local golfer's spiritsPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Jarrod Thayer's clothes dryer burst into flames in December, burning his hallway and melting a golf trophy or two.

The blaze caused such massive smoke and water damage that he and his girlfriend moved out of the house north of Catalina, where he'd whack golf balls into the desert. They've yet to return, but hope to get back in the next two weeks.

What are the odds of that?

Probably the same as hitting holes-in-one on consecutive days.

Thayer did that, too, on April 18 and 19.

"I had a little bit of run of bad luck," he said, "before I had good luck."

There was skill, too.

Thayer, 45, carries a 2 1/2 handicap, one of the reasons his friend Clarance Johnson invited him to be his teammate in the Roadrunner Classic Member-Guest Tournament at SaddleBrooke Golf Club.

Good golfers can go their entire lives without an ace.

Thayer - who now has five career holes-in-one - did it twice in two days.

The first time was on his first swing.

Seriously.

His group - Thayer and club member Johnson teamed up this year after Thayer's partner from two years ago died of liver cancer - started the round at Hole 2 of the course's nine-hole SaddleBrooke course.

Thayer measured the stick at about 86 yards, and swung a three-quarter sand wedge that went in the hole.

"No way, no way," said Johnson, who met Thayer through a church friend. "I called the pro shop and said, 'Have you ever heard of someone hitting one with their first shot?'

"It gets all over the course - 'Clarance has brought in a ringer.'"

He laughed.

Little did he know.

The next day, on Hole 8 of the Tucson nine, Thayer teed off with an 8-iron, aiming at the flag stick 172 yards away.

The ball flew through the air. Someone in the group yelled, "Get in the hole!"

The ball bounced once, then twice, and disappeared into the hole.

"I actually apologized to some golfers on the other green nearby," said Thayer, who has a small house-painting business. "Because I think I yelled pretty loud."

When the other golfers found out, they screamed, too.

A promotion offered a free E-Z-Go golf cart to anyone that could ace No. 8. The cart was at the tee box.

Thayer ran and hugged the cart - his cart, valued at around $7,000.

"Disbelief," he said. "What, are you kidding me?"

Thayer hasn't decided if he'll sell the cart - he doesn't really need one - but he's already promised Johnson a joy ride once it gets delivered.

As for the three-day tournament, the two won their flight, but lost a chance to win the Bronze Saddle trophy in a shootout.

They'll take another shot next year.

"He'll be invited back," Johnson said, laughing.

Ya think?

"There's no doubt," Thayer said, "he'll invite me back."

Contact reporter Patrick Finley at pfinley@azstarnet.com or 573-4658. On Twitter @PatrickFinley

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