There are amazing golf stories that you hear sometimes that seem too good to be true, mainly because nobody official was there to witness it.
For example, making birdie-eagle-ace over a three-hole stretch? That's almost too good to be true. Except in this case, it is.
That's because it was done on Feb. 16 at Fresno's Airways Golf Course by none other than retired PGA Professional Steve Menchinella in the company of three other golf professionals. The feat was confirmed in a story you can read here by the Fresno Bee's Bryant-Jon Anteola.
According to the story, the 75-year-old Menchinella -- head golf professional at Sunnyside Country Club for 41 years and general manager for 13 -- was playing a casual round one week ago with Kings Country Club professional Tom James, current Sunnyside professional Steve Pellegrine and Kings Country Club director of golf Paul Wightman.
Menchinella's round started off with four routine pars, and then the fun began. He birdied the par-3 fifth hole, then faced a 120-yard approach shot after his drive at the par-4 sixth. He pulled out a 9-iron and the shot went right at the flag and in.
"I can’t see that far, but it seemed like it just disappeared,” Menchinella was quoted as saying in the Bee article. “We went up, saw it went in and we were all laughing and high-fived each other.”
The seventh hole is a 115-yard par 3, so Menchinella used the same 9-iron from the teeing ground. And lo and behold, the ball went in the cup for a hole-in-one.
Three holes. Five shots. Five under par. And by Menchinella's count, his 11th career ace.
“It was by far the neatest thing I’ve seen on the course,” James said in the article. “I think you’d have better odds at winning the Powerball.”
Menchinella finished with a 4-under 67, which also meant he shot eight strokes lower than his age.
“It’s always fun to shoot your age or way under your age,” Menchinella was quoted as saying. “Then to go 5-under in three holes, that was amazing."
If golf had the equivalent of balls and strikes, it would probably look something like this 2-putt birdie from Justin Leonard.
Leonard was about 60 feet away Saturday with an eagle chance on the first hole at Riviera.
The ridge through the middle of his putt had different ideas and kindly returned the ball to Leonard.
Turns out it didn't matter much.
Lenoard would finish the day at 7-under, tied for 14th going into Sunday's final round.
If you just happened to look at the scorecard, pars for Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy at the 18th hole Saturday at Riviera Country Club doesn't seem like that much of a deal.
But what pars they were.
Both players missed the 18th green on their approach shots, leaving themselves almost identical shots, short-siding the hole in a low area next to the grandstand. With the green sloping quickly away, just getting the ball on the green and taking a two-putt bogey seemed likely. But these are two of the best players in the world -- and with good reason.
Watch this shot by Watson, who was clinging to a one-stroke lead at the time.
McIlroy was several groups in front of Watson when his approach went awry. His recovery nearly hit the flagstick, but rolled several feet by, leaving him with this tricky par-saver.
That puts McIlroy just two shots behind Watson heading into Sunday's final round.
Just a couple of outstanding pars that don't look that impressive on the scorecard.
James Hahn won the 2015 Northern Trust Open, so he knows his way around Riviera Country Club. Even so, when you leave yourself a 61-foot birdie putt, the odds of making it seems pretty far-fetched.
Most amateurs would love to cozy it close and walk off with a two-putt par. But Hahn is no amateur. Watch what he does with this huge right-to-left breaker at the par-3, fourth hole in Thursday's first round.
To quote another famous Han -- Han Solo -- "Never tell me the odds!"
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Quail Hollow Club
Charlotte, North Carolina