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One hole in one deserves another — within a minute

John Riggle, 51, had his first “witnessed” hole-in-one soon after Judy Glinka, 63, scored her first ace ever on June 3 at the Treasure Bay golf course in Treasure Island. “I’ve never seen anything like it,’’ the pro there said.

RODNEY PAGE | Times

John Riggle, 51, had his first “witnessed” hole-in-one soon after Judy Glinka, 63, scored her first ace ever on June 3 at the Treasure Bay golf course in Treasure Island. “I’ve never seen anything like it,’’ the pro there said.

TREASURE ISLAND

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This was supposed to be Judy Glinka's moment. After 15 years of playing golf, after overcoming a gruesome injury to her right hand nearly a year ago, this was supposed to be her day in the setting sun.

During her Wednesday evening hospitality golf league on June 3 at Treasure Bay Executive Golf Course, Glinka drilled an 85-yard 8-iron on the second hole that rolled to the lip of the cup, caught a stiff breeze and dropped in. It was the first ace ever for Glinka, 63.

"We were jumping up and down and screaming and shouting,'' Glinka said.

At nearly the same time, about 30 yards away on the seventh tee, John Riggle heard all the shouting. His playing partners told him to do the same thing. While Glinka's group was whooping it up down the second fairway, Riggle sent a pitching wedge soaring toward the pin 90 yards away. It landed softly and dropped right in the hole.

Two holes-in-one in less than a minute. Take that, Judy!

"He rained all over me,'' Glinka said, laughing. "I heard those guys cheering, and at first I thought it was for me. Then I found out he just got a hole-in-one. I could've choked him.''

For Riggle, 51, it was also his first official hole-in-one. He said he got one during a practice round when he was 13, but no one else saw it and no one would believe him.

"This is my first one with an actual witness,'' Riggle said.

Gary Metzger, the teaching pro at the nine-hole, par-3 Treasure Bay and organizer of the Wednesday evening league, was in a perfect position to see both shots. He was standing behind the practice green with a clear view of the second and seventh holes, which run parallel to each other.

He turned his head left to see Glinka's shot drop in, then turned to his right to catch Riggle's shot.

"I've never seen anything like it,'' Metzger said. "That has to be a record. I'm trying to find out from the Guinness Book people if it is. I mean, two holes-in-one within a minute?''

The odds of a person getting a hole-in-one are about 1 in 12,000 for an average player, according to a Golf Digest study. There are no odds listed for two people getting a hole-in-one within seconds of each other.

The ace is extra special to Glinka, considering she didn't even know if she could play golf again after an accident last June. While in a Treasure Island store, Glinka lost her balance and reached out to keep from falling. Her right hand pierced a post on a pegboard, causing extensive nerve damage.

She had a metal bar placed in her hand to help with the nerve damage.

"I had to go through a lot of rehab,'' said Glinka, who is retired but works part time at Treasure Bay. "Then when I finally held a club, I would get this shooting pain in my arm. I've been playing for about four months now, and when I got the hole-in-one I wanted to cry. To me, it meant I finally made it back from the injury.''

Riggle is retired from the Army but works in maintenance at the Seaview Condominiums in Madeira Beach. He said he plays golf about two times a week. As for the hole-in-one, he didn't see it at first.

"It's just one of those things,'' Riggle said. "I had been all over the pin before, a couple of shots that were very close. The guys I was playing with said it went in, but I didn't see it. I had to walk up there and see it in the cup.''

The two even got lucky when it came to buying everyone in the clubhouse drinks, a tradition for anyone who gets an ace. There are 44 players in the league (11 teams of four), and each plays for one of eight bars or restaurants in the area. Money from the rounds played goes to local charities.

After golf, they meet at one of the restaurants and talk about the evening's round.

On June 3, they met at Sea Hags in St. Pete Beach, where Glinka and Riggle got to drink for free.

"We usually talk about all the shots we almost made,'' Riggle said, "but that night we talked about the shots we made.''

One hole in one deserves another — within a minute 06/13/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 13, 2009 4:30am]
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