The Tour Player Who Aced Back-to-Back Holes — Including a Par-4

Did you know that a European tour golfer once made holes-in-one on back-to-back holes during tournament play? And that one of them happened on a par-4 hole? It's true, and it's also the only known time a tour player, during a tour event, aced consecutive holes.

The golfer was John Hudson, a journeyman English player who spent parts of several seasons on the European Tour and later played the European Seniors Tour. He also got into four British Opens. But his feat didn't happen in a European Tour event because the Euro Tour didn't yet exist.

The tournament was the 1971 Martini International (James Bond's favorite), which, at that time, was part of the British PGA circuit. The European Tour did not have its inaugural season until one year later, in 1972. But the Martini International, played at Royal Norwich Golf Club in Norwich, England in 1971, was legit, a top tour stop for British and European golfers of the time: It existed from 1961-83 and was part of the European Tour from the beginning in 1972. Its winners included Peter Thomson, Christy O'Connor Sr., Peter Alliss, Greg Norman, Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo.

Here's what happened: Hudson, 25 years old at the time, was playing in the second round after shooting 72 in the opening round. He was having a bit of struggle through the early parts of Round 2, including making a 6 on the 10th hole.

Then he stepped to the tee on the par-3 12th, 195 yards. Hudson pulled a 4-iron and, boom, hole-in-one. His tee shot "pitched eight feet short and ran in, to be greeted by spectators cheering and waving arms," the Glasgow Herald newspaper reported.

Hudson proceeded to the 13th hole, a short par-4 of 311 yards. That hole, as the Herald described it, "plunges from a high tee down a steep hill to a green that is out of sight." So although it was short and downhill, it was also a blind tee shot.

Hudson used his driver and, boom again, that one rolled into the hole, too! We imagine Hudson felt both shaken and stirred.

How rare are back-to-back aces during a tour round? So rare that Hudson's feat was the first time it was known to happen; so rare that it is not known to have happened since. A single hole-in-one on a par-4 hole is extremely rare in tour play all by itself, much less as the second of consecutive aces.

Only three golfers in PGA Tour history, for example, are known to have aced two holes in the same round, and none of those were consecutive. At the time of this article's writing, there has been only one par-4 ace in PGA Tour history (Andrew Magee, 2001 Phoenix Open).

Hudson played the next two holes in 3-over par, scored 33 on that back nine, and finished the round in 72. Yes, the same score he made in the first round, when he did not have back-to-back aces. He eventually finished the 1971 Martini International tied for ninth place and won £160, which was one of his best checks in tour events.

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