LIVERMORE -- The odds were better that Alex Yu and Brendan Hopkins, both of Danville, would be struck by lightning in their lifetime then it was for either to score a hole in one.
But thanks to some skill and a lot of luck, Yu and Hopkins not only each scored a hole in one during the same golf tournament, but the duo did it during the same round while playing as partners.
Yu sank his shot on the par-3 fourth hole at Las Positas Golf Course in Livermore during the course's year-end parent-child tournament for its junior program on Aug. 19. Hopkins, 13, followed three holes later on the par-3 seventh hole.
"It happening in a tournament is very rare, and then you put in a pairing, and it's twice as rare," said Jeff DeBenedetti, the head golf professional at Las Positas for the past 22 years. "So when it happens on the same team twice, the best way to say it is, 'It just doesn't happen.' One in a million."
DeBenedetti's isn't exaggerating. USA Today reported in 2006 that an insurance company USHoleinOne.com, which insures hole-in-one contests, said the odds of getting a hole in one on a par-3 were 12,500 to one for an amateur player.
The odds of being struck by lightning in one's lifetime in the United States are one in 10,000, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But Hopkins and Yu bucked the odds.
"We were just amazed," said Hopkins. "There has never
Hopkins said he and Yu were not having the best of rounds up until the fourth hole. Yu changed their fortunes when his shot from 86 yards out landed eight feet from the hole and then trickled in.
The duo's fortune received another jolt when Hopkins' landed his shot on the seventh hole three feet from the 120-yard pin and then watched as it disappeared.
"I knew it was going to be good, so I wanted to watch," said Hopkins about his shot. "When I saw it land, I didn't expect it to go in to the hole but I watched the ball and saw it disappear and knew it was a hole in one."
The holes in one were firsts for Yu and Hopkins, and it was enough for the duo to finish second in the tournament.
Contact Robert Jordan at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/robjordan127.