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Rogie Vachon adds to memorable week with hole-in-one

Makes third lifetime ace two days after induction into Hockey Hall of Fame

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / Columnist

MONTREAL -- No matter how good a week you've had, it has paled in comparison to the one Rogie Vachon just had -- unless you've also been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and then shot a hole-in-one.

Following a whirlwind weekend that saw Vachon honored in Montreal by the Canadiens on Thursday, and inducted into the Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday, the former goalie, exhausted, flew home to Los Angeles, eager to catch his breath on Wednesday with a relaxing round of golf with friends at Mountain Gate Country Club, where he's been a long-time member.

On the third hole of the South course, his 12th hole of the day, playing with Lon Isaacson, Michael Levan and Dennis Rosenstock, Vachon took out his 9-iron and lifted his ball over a canyon, dropped it onto the green and saw it roll into the cup 153 yards away for a hole-in-one.

"That's about it, just an average week," Vachon joked by phone Thursday, just off the course. "My friends said I should have rushed out and bought a lottery ticket."

In fact, it was the third lifetime ace for Vachon, a serious golfer since he arrived in the NHL with the Canadiens in 1967. His first came while playing with Montreal, in a charity tournament organized by then-Canadiens captain Jean Beliveau. The second was a few years ago at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.

"We all put our shots on the green, but we couldn't see from the tee because of a little bump at the front," Vachon said of his ace. "We only found three balls when we got to the green and there was mine, in the hole."

It wasn't even Vachon's usual Callaway; a partner had tossed a ball to him on the tee that he'd found on the previous hole.

"It wasn't much of a ball, but I decided to hit it," he said. "I struck it really nicely and it was going right at the flag. Then I lost sight of it until I took it out of the cup. It's still in my bag back at the club."

Vachon's remarkable week isn't done yet. He will be celebrated by the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center before their game against the Edmonton Oilers, a scoreboard video tribute preceding his third ceremonial puck drop in nine days. Fans in attendance will receive a collectible figurine of the popular goalie, who was inducted into the Kings Hall of Fame in 1985 and whose No. 30 was retired by the team that year, the first number so honored.

Full-time retirement from hockey has given him more time on the golf course, though he took a few days off to fly east for his Canadiens salute and Hall of Fame induction.

But back to Mountain Gate he went for a 9-iron he'll never forget.

"I shot 45-45 for the round, not very good. I was so tired," he said. "I shoot 84, 85 usually. But I'll take it."

And a lottery ticket before the week is out, he said, still wasn't out of the question.

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