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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Easley sinks rare double-eagle

Thursday, June 29, 2006

There are few, if any, things rarer on the golf course than a hole-in-one.

According to Golf Digest, the odds of an amateur duffer hitting a hole-in-one on any given hole is somewhere in the neighborhood of a one in 12,750 chance.

However, the one thing seen less times on the golf course than an ace is the all-elusive double-eagle. A double-eagle is recorded when a golfer shoots three-under par on any given hole. A feat that is extremely rare, indeed.

A rare feat, but not so rare that it can't be accomplished from time to time. Even by a local golfer.

Truman Easley, 72, a member of the Cherokee Village Men's Golf Association, can now say he did something that Golf World magazine says happens one time in a million tries: a double-eagle.

Easley notched this impressive feat June 20 while golfing with some buddies at the Marion Golf Club.

Bryan Collins and Eddie Fleeman, both of Forrest City, along with George Townsend of Russellville, where privy to the event.

Easley used a driver and 7-wood to slay the par-five, 430-yard hole #18 in two shots while playing off the gold tee.

"It wasn't the championship tee, but it was still the gold tee," said Easley.

While it might be a bit of an exaggeration to compare witnessing a double-eagle with watching someone run a two-minute mile, it's probably not far off.

According to Golf World, there were 631 aces on the PGA Tour from 1983-2003, but there were just 56 double-eagles, with no more than six a year, during that same time span. It seems there are some 40,000 aces per year by all golfers worldwide but fewer than 200 double-eagles.

"I used to live in Forrest City, and I still get together with the guys I was playing with the other day once or twice a year," Easley said. "They had never witnessed one before, and of course I never had either. I'd never even seen one, but then we got to be part of one."

As hard as it can be to come from behind when trailing by more than a couple of strokes late in a round, a double-eagle can sure cure what ails you, according to Easley.

"I was golfing behind this one guy and was four strokes behind going into the 18th," he said. "He bogeyed the hole, and I still tied him. He had a six and I had a two. That was really something."

While he was trying to play catchup late in the round, Easley didn't expect to wipe out a four-stroke deficit with just a couple of mighty swings of the club.

"I had about a 175- or 180-yard shot, and the green up there is surrounded by water. I had hit about a 250-yard drive, I guess, and on the second shot I really hit that thing and thought it got close to the pin," he said. "But we didn't see it anymore. A guy said, 'I think it must have run off the back of the green or something,' so we worked our way up there and wasn't thinking anything big. We got up there and saw a ball mark about three feet in front of the pin. My old buddy went up and said, 'There ain't no ball in there,' and he jerked the flag out and the ball came out with it. They were all part of it, and we had quite a big time."

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