After a summer full of uncertainty being away from teammates, two Desert Vista golfers started off the 2020 season in just about the way possible.
During the Thunder’s first match of the season on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at Arizona Country Club, sophomore Ross Koscis and junior Cody Besetti both hit a hole-in-one to finish their rounds. It was the first hole-in-one for both golfers.
“You just don’t see things like that in sports, at all,” Desert Vista golf coach Matt Russo said. “It was amazing. I’m just glad I was able to share that moment with both of them.”
Both golfers hit the memorable shot on the ninth hole at Arizona Country Club, a 156-yard, par-3. Both used an 8-iron.
The shots came at Arcadia’s home course, which played host to the Thunder, Mountain Pointe and Saguaro. Desert Vista finished third overall with a score of 153. Arcadia won the match, while Saguaro placed second.
However, the end results had a little less meaning after Koscis and Besetti’s near once-in-a-lifetime shots.
“You know, in a shortened season every match is important,” Russo said. “But in retrospect, yeah, it probably didn’t outweigh what they were able to accomplish.”
Koscis said he didn’t realize the ball had gone in until Russo had seen it. At the time, he was walking up to the green wondering where his ball had gone. Koscis recalled Russo holding up his arms in celebration.
Of course, he didn’t believe it at first.
“I really was just hoping to get a good shot in,” Koscis said. “There was one guy I was talking to who said he had never hit a shot like that, and he had been playing that course for years. I just couldn’t believe it.”
Besetti then arrived at the ninth hole with the next group of golfers. He himself didn’t believe what Koscis had done until Russo confirmed the hole-in-one.
From there, Besetti said Russo gave him a bit of a challenge.
“I checked the scores after I got off the last hole and saw Ross’ score was three less than it previously was,” Besetti said. “I clicked and saw the one. I didn’t believe it at first then I asked coach and he told me Ross got the hole-in-one.
“Before I went up to hit my shot, coach said, ‘show me what you can do.’”
Besetti lined up, swung and watched as the ball bounced and rolled on a near perfect line toward the cup.
“Once I saw the path of the ball, in the back of my head I just thought, ‘oh my gosh, this has a chance,’” Bisetti said. “I don’t know if it had some sidespin or it was just the break of the green, but it rolled into the cup.
“I don’t really remember too much of what I did after I hit it, I was just so caught up in the moment.”
Koscis was unaware Besetti had just hit a hole-in-one on the same hole until after he finished his round. In fact, he didn’t even hear it from his teammates or Russo. The news was shared by a member of an opposing team who had been in Besetti’s group.
“He came up to me and was like, ‘hey, did you know your teammate just hit a hole-in-one, too?’” Koscis said. “I was just in disbelief when he said that. It’s such a cool thing.”
The two shots were the first for the Desert Vista golf program in its competitive history. Both Koscis and Bisetti called it a bonding moment.
As a whole, the Thunder program has long been one of the best in the state under Russo, who joined the program as the girls coach in 2012 and remained for three years until he began to coach the boys. In 2016, he led the boys to the Division I state title.
Since that magical, turnaround year in 2016, the boys have been perennial contenders, finishing at or near the top of the rankings in the state golf tournament.
Normally, golf can fly a bit under the radar compared to other sports, especially when taking into consideration it is widely an individual game. But this year, with the staggered start to fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic, golf had the attention of most being the first sport to begin its season.
With eight returning golfers from last year’s team, Russo said the expectations are a bit higher than usual. All in all, they aim to continue to take strides both as individuals and as a team as the season progresses toward the state tournament.
“Golf is an individual sport, but our guys have made it into a team sport,” Russo said. “They have really embraced the bonding aspect. It’s a ‘my bogie is our bogie,’ sort of thing. They have really come together in a short amount of time.”
Desert Vista played Brophy on Thursday, Aug. 27 and against both Cactus Shadows and Red Mountain on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The Thunder’s next match will take place Friday, Sept. 4 at the 2020 Antigua High School Golf Invitational at the Cattail Course at the Whirlwind Golf Club at Wildhorse Pass in Chandler.