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First Swing Brings Friot $15,000 Ace

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Holey moley!

Two north country golfers pocketed quite a bit of green with holes-in-one Friday at a pair of area charity tournaments.

Richard A. Friot, of Dekalb Junction, won $15,000 on the 156-yard second hole at the Gilbert Greens in Heuvelton, while MaryAllyn Baeslack, of Dexter, won $10,000 with her ace on the 135-yard fifth hole of Watertown Golf Club.

Mr. Friot holed his shot with a well-hit seven-iron that flew high before rolling in on the upward-sloping green.

“I’ve never seen one ever, except for on the news,” he said. “I never thought I’d get one.”

Mr. Friot, a probation officer, was the first to shoot after the 10 a.m. starter’s horn went off, in the first year of a benefit tournament held by the St. Lawrence County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

Mr. Friot forgot to wear his Probation Department T-shirt, prompting his fellow golfers to jokingly give him the honor of the first shot.

He said he plays golf about twice a year, after learning the game around the age of 40.

Robert A. Dupree, who played with Mr. Friot, said the shot looked good the whole way.

“I said, ‘That looks like it’ll go right down the pipe,’” he said.

After landing on the green, the ball bounced once and rolled into the hole, wedging between the side of the cup and the flagstick.

The group, who was unable to see the final result from the tee, drew a large crowd of fellow tournament players after they realized Mr. Friot got the hole-in-one.

“He was literally shaking for four or five holes,” Mr. Dupree said.

Mr. Friot said he plans to donate some of his prize money to charity, and take his wife to Ireland.

“She’s always wanted to go,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Baeslack admitted her prize-winning shot at the Golfing for Community Action tournament was not a pretty one, as she played with members of her family.

As she swung her six-wood, her shot initially went left, running along the ground, before bouncing over the bunker in front of the green.

“We both looked at each other,” Ms. Baeslack said. “It disappeared.”

John Methfessel, Ms. Baeslack’s father, said he thought the ball went behind the green. “Not a chance,” he said about the prospect of a hole-in-one.

Ms. Baeslack jumped into her brother Don’s arms when she realized she holed her shot.

“‘We all won $2,500!’” she said her brother joked with her.

In addition to donating to the Community Action Planning Council, which hosted the tournament, Ms. Baeslack said the money will go toward a trip she planned to take to Mexico.

“This’ll pay for it,” she said.

The odds of hitting a hole-in-one are 12,500 to 1, according to the National Hole in One Association, which sells insurance for charity tournaments. It didn’t have numbers immediately available about how rare it would be for it to happen at two tournaments on the same day.

“It takes talent to get close to the pin,” Mr. Methfessel said. “It takes some luck to put it in.”

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