Woman golfer's master stroke stymies bookies

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As golf shots go, Suzi Toft's was a gem. A hole-in-one. A rare event. That it happened just a few days after Mrs Toft and her playing partner Jill Dyke both hit, in succession, holes-in-one on the same 116-yard hole on the same course in Trentham, Staffordshire, was plain bizarre.

Mrs Toft, 72, a former county golfer from Trentham who has played the game for 47 years, scored the hole-in-one on the fourth hole in front of a television news crew who had come to film her after hearing of her previous lucky strike.

"It really is absolutely out of this world," Mrs Toft said. "We were demonstrating on the fourth tee how we did it and my ball went straight in again. Everyone was simply stunned."

Not to be outdone, Mrs Dyke, 60, then sent her tee shot to within less than 12 inches of the hole.

The two women defied astronomical odds with their shots last week. The bookmakers Ladbrokes have quoted odds of more than 100 million-to- one on two amateur golfers achieving holes in one on the same green. The firm offers odds of 10,000-to-one on an amateur scoring any hole-in-one but said it could not even qualify yesterday's additional feat with a price.

A Ladbrokes spokesman, Ed Nicholson, said: "We have never thought this possible and it is never likely to happen again. In this sort of form, a place in the US Masters wouldn't be out of the question."

The women's incredible accuracy will no doubt come as reassurance to the world's top professional golfers who today walk out to play the first round of the US Masters tournament at a notoriously tricky course in Augusta, Georgia, where holes-in-one are virtually impossible.