Friends defy the hole-in-one odds

The United States Golf Register estimates the odds of hitting a hole-in-one to be as high as 30,000 to one. Kristian DiSanzo and Mike Mansfield hit those odds and bucked others that probably haven't been set.

On April 5, a day the two went golfing at Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point to celebrate Mansfield's April 7 birthday, DiSanzo — a resident of Huntington Beach — hit a hole-in-one on the 17th-hole. It was a first for the 36-year old, a quality assurance manager at a Costa Mesa testing laboratory for the aerospace industry, who said he gets out to golf "probably once very three months, and not as much as I'd like to."

He was playing the Monarch Beach course for just the third time.

"It was an unbelievable feeling," he said of his feat. "Most people say that when they hit a hole-in-one, they don't get to see the ball go in the cup. I did.

"Mike went first, and his shot fell about 15 to 20 yards short in the front bunker of the green... Then it was my turn. After I hit the ball, I lost sight of it in the haze. One of the gentlemen saw it, and congratulated me for hitting the green. That's when I saw it, myself, and then I watched as it rolled toward the hole, and in. It was so unreal, just amazing."

Mansfield, 38 and a resident of Ladrea Ranch, knows the feeling: two years ago, he and DiSanzo were golfing at the Talega Golf Club course in San Clemente, this time, celebrating DiSanzo's Dec. 8 birthday, when Mansfield hit a hole-in-one.

"How do you explain it? You can't, really," said DiSanzo who used an 8-iron on his shot. "He hit one on my birthday, and I returned the favor."

The hole-in-one two years ago was a first — and currently, only — for Mansfield.

"I kind of felt bad, getting that hole-in-one on his birthday, thinking he should have hit it," Mansfield said. "Now, he hits one on mine. It was kind of, 'right back at ya.' We were screaming after he hit it. I was so excited and ecstatic for him."

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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