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Soona Lee-Tolley Becomes Youngest Girl To Record a Hole-In-One

Uses a Titleist Golf Ball to Enter the Record Books

New York, NY, July 1, 2007 – As she stood on the elevated tee box and approached the Jade tees of the 127-yard 7th hole at the Manhattan Woods Golf Club in West Nyack, NY, she had no idea that she was about to walk into the history books. But when her tee shot came to rest at the bottom of the cup cut into the 7th green, Soona Lee-Tolley did just that, becoming the youngest girl ever to record a hole-in-one. Soona is five years old.

Soona struck the record-setting shot with a driver and used a Titleist DT SoLo golf ball. She has only been playing golf for one year and the significance of her accomplishment didn't initially sink in. "She didn't think much of it right at first," said Soona's mother, Nancy Lee, who was playing with her sons in the group just behind her daughter's. "But once she saw her dad jumping up and down and cheering she began to jump around and shout herself."

"It was a great shot", confirms David Tolley, Soona's father and her playing partner on the historic day. "A nice high drive tracking the pin the whole way. It bounced on the front edge and just rolled in the hole. We were jumping around on the tee box and shouting back to Soona's mom and brothers behind us on 6 fairway - I can see it like it happened yesterday."

Shortly after the hole-in-one, Soona's uncle, Steve Lee (forever to be known now as "Cool Uncle Steve") took it upon himself to do some research on Soona's feat. Believing Soona may have set a record, he contacted the Guinness Book of World Records in London and supplied the details surrounding the event. Guinness Book officials researched the claim and reported back shortly that Soona is indeed the youngest female ever to record a hole-in-one in regulation play. Soona's hole-in-one will be featured in the 2009 Guinness Book.

When Nancy Lee was asked if her sons had shown any jealousy over the attention that Soona's shot has received, she was quick to assert that just the opposite was true. David (11) and Matthew (9), both of whom have had their own near-misses on holes-in-one, "have been truly excited and happy for Soona. They are so excited to show her off in the upcoming edition of Guinness Book. It's usually one of the best selling books at every school's book fair, so they'll have plenty of opportunity."

Soona remains unphased by her sudden golf celebrity. When asked how her life has changed, Soonah replied simply that "It hasn't." But her mother , Nancy did note a subtle difference in Soona's expectations when it comes to the game of golf. "I was playing with Soona the next time she played that 7th hole. She hit her driver again and hit a great shot. But it didn't go in. She shot me this look. Total disbelief. As if 'How dare the ball not go in, Mom?'"

Was it this complete absence of negative attitude that helped Soona get her ace in the first place? There's no telling. But for the rest of us cynical golfers who have learned time and time again how difficult and cruel golf can be, here are the cold hard statistics, courtesy of a 2000 study published in Golf Digest. These odds are based on estimated numbers for rounds played each year (528 million) and estimated holes-in-one (100,000). It is also assumes four par-3 holes of varying lengths in an 18-hole round.

A player making an ace in a given round: 5,000 to 1

Two players, same foursome, acing same hole: 17 million to 1

Acing a designated hole in a single round: 20,000 to 1

Two players in a field of 200 acing same hole in a single round: 5,000 to 1

Acing the same hole more than once in 1,000 rounds: 1 in 200

Two aces in a single round, same player: 67 million to 1

Getting an ace in a 1,000-round career: 1 in 5

Three aces in a single round, same player: 2 trillion to 1

Getting an ace in a 5,000-round career: Almost a sure thing

So take heart, Soona. Play another 4,950 rounds or so and you'll be sure to get at least another hole-in-one.

Some additional hole-in-one information, courtesy of Guinness Book of World Records:

Youngest Hole-in-one- golfer (Female)
The youngest female golfer to score a hole-in-one is Soona Lee-Tolley
(USA), aged 5 years 103 days at the par 3 7th at Manhattan Woods Golf
Club, West Nyack, New York, USA, on 1 July 2007.

The hole is a 125 yards long. Soona's older brothers are successful
young golf players as well.

Previous Female Record:
The youngest female golfer to score a hole-in-one is Tiffany Lynn Elliot
(Canada), aged 9 years 12 days at the par 3 12th at Lewis Estates Golf
Course, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on 30 August 2007

MALE RECORD:

Youngest Hole-in-one- golfer (Male)
The youngest male golfer recorded to have shot a hole in one is
Christian Carpenter (USA) (b. June 6, 1995) aged 4 years 195 days at the
Mountain View Golf Club, Hickory, North Carolina, USA on December 18,
1999.

OLDEST:

Oldest Golfers to Achieve Hole-in-one
The oldest golfers to have performed a hole-in-one are: (men) 99yr
244days Otto Bucher (Switzerland) (b. 12 May 1885) on the 119 m (130 yd)
12th at La Manga GC, Spain on 13 January 1985; (women) 95 yr 257 days
Erna Ross (b. 9 September 1890) on the 102 m (112 yd) 17th at The
Everglades Club, Palm Beach, Florida, USA on 23 April 1986.

LONGEST:

Longest Straight Hole-in-one
The longest straight hole ever holed in one shot was, appropriately, the
tenth (408m 447yd) at Miracle Hills GC, Omaha, Nebraska, USA by Robert
Mitera (b. 1944) on 7 Oct 1965. Mitera stood 1.68m 5ft 6in tall and
weighed 75kg 165lb (11st 11lb). He was a two handicap player who
normally drove 224m 245yd. A 80km/h 50mph gust carried his shot over a
265m 290yd drop-off.

For more world records, visit www.guinnessworldrecords.com.

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