By Patrick Yost editor

The first thing Tom Metzger did on the way home from The Creek at Hard Labor Creek golf course Sunday was stop and buy a lottery ticket. Metzger says he never plays the lottery, see’s it as a fool’s game. But this time he’s got a great chance of winning. Earlier he had accomplished a rarity. On consecutive par 3 holes at The Creek Metzger scored not one, but two hole–in–ones.

While there are no definable odds for consecutive hole–in–one’s, the odds of two hole–in–one shots during a single round of golf are roughly 67 million to 1. The odds of winning the lottery are roughly 175 million to 1. Metzger may have a good chance. Metzger, a 62–year–old Mansfield resident, was playing in the Sunday “Dogfight” at The Creek, an event he has participated in faithfully since 1995.

On the twelfth hole, a short par 3, Metzger hit a 9–iron 133 yards and in. “It was a good shot. It kind of checked and rolled in the hole.” The group ahead confirmed that the ball was in the hole and the celebration began. “They sprinted over to the hole and gave me the touchdown sign,” Metzger says. He parred the next hole, a par 5 and then stepped up to the fourteenth still basking in the glory of the hole–in–one. And on the long par three framed by the course’s signature water wheel, Metzger dropped another one.

Five iron. One–hundred and seventy one yards. Again, the group ahead confirmed the shot dropped. “I got real confused. It was hard to comprehend it. I just kind of went into shock.” One playing partner dropped to his knees and the other two “just kind of stood their with their mouths open,” he says. Calls began going back to the pro shop and Metzger found a way to finish his round (he shot an 83). The former college football player held onto both Bridgestone golf balls he used for the shots.

He also collected hefty winnings from the Dogfight that day. For Metzger, who has had knee, hip and recently spinal surgery, the feat was an affirmation of hard work.

He returned to the golf course in February after healing from spinal surgery last November. Part of it was the golf, part was the fellowship and camaraderie of the Dogfight. Either way, he soldiered on. “It was kind of like learning to play golf all over again,” Metzger said after the spinal surgery. And the lottery ticket? “I’ll call you on that one,” he says, “It draws on Tuesday.”