Local golfers set Guinness World Record

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From the time the sun sliced through the early morning haze until it set in the evening of June 26, Shawn Carr, Ryan Lombardo, Shane Eichenlaub and Pat Kern hit golf balls.

When they took the last of their 2,618 strokes, which included 1,069 putts during eight 18-hole rounds on eight different courses, the foursome had shattered the feat currently recognized by Guinness World Records.

The four expect to receive official confirmation of their achievement from Guinness in about a month.

"We complied with all of the rules and regulations set by Guinness to the 'T,' " said Candy Eichenlaub, Shane's mom and co-owner of Mohawk Trails Golf Course near New Castle.

She served as the group's "auditor," making sure the course managers signed the required documents to verify the scores and taking pictures of the golfers on the first and last holes of each course.

"We didn't want to leave anything to chance," she said.

The group easily surpassed the previous record of five completed rounds of golf in a single day by a foursome at five different courses that had to be a minimum of 6,000 yards.

Kern, 58, the elder statesman of the group and a resident of Pine, organized the golf odyssey that included Shane Eichenlaub, 19, a member of the La Roche golf team last year; Lombardo, 32; and Carr, 26. Eichenlaub, Lombardo and Carr live in New Castle. Kern had tried to get into the Guinness World Records years ago when he lived in Jacksonville, Fla., but he and his partners couldn't complete the sixth round.

Each player rode in his own cart. The rules specified only one player could tee off at a time, so they had to play in turn and putt out everything. The average round took about 90 minutes and the players traveled a total of 120 miles to and from the eight courses -- Knoll Run in Lowellville, Ohio, and Tanglewood, Rolling Hills, Sylvan Heights, Castle Hills, Mohawk Trails, Tam O'Shanter and Hickory VFW, all in Western Pennsylvania. The longest drive between courses took about 20 minutes. They called in advance for tee times and when course officials were told what the foursome was trying to accomplish, they either gave the players a reduced rate or a free pass and let them play through other players.

"At first, I thought the whole idea was pretty crazy," said Shane Eichenlaub, the most accomplished golfer of the foursome with a 1-handicap. "We weren't too concerned about the scores. We just wanted to get it into the hole as quickly as possible. It was a fun day and I'm glad I did it. It certainly was different."

He added with a laugh, "By the end of the day, my feet were sore."

His scores ranged from 73 to 81. Carr's were 73-85, Lombardo's 75-83 and Kern's 81-94. The shot of the day belonged to Kern, who holed out from 150 yards for an eagle on the final round at Hickory VFW.

The foursome started at 5:20 a.m. and finished at 9:15 p.m. They ate snacks and drank liquids while they played, and they changed shirts that became drenched with sweat a number of times. Bathroom breaks were taken on the turn or after a round or during the round if a portable toilet was on the course.

"The most rounds I've ever played in a day was two, or once maybe three," Eichenlaub said. "Will we try to break the record? Probably not. This was something we wanted to do, and we did it."



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