Mike O’Bradovich has been golfing most of his life.
But until Friday morning, he’d never recorded a hole-in-one. He sure picked the perfect time for it to happen.
O’Bradovich’s ace on the No. 7 hole at Bellefonte Country Club during the Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital Auxilary Golf Benefit not only gave him a personal thrill but also a brand new 2014 Cadillac ELR.
The $78,010 vehicle from Don Hall GM Supercenter was the prize for anyone who recorded an ace on that hole.
O’Bradovich, who is from Lynch, didn’t know about the vehicle until after he scored the ace.
“It’s my first hole-in-one and I’ll damn sure never forget it,” he said. “I saw it hit (the green) and saw it bounce toward the flag and didn’t see it again.”
Two of the female spotters on the green saw it drop in the hole and started jumping up and down. “They were like touchdown! It’s good!’’ O’Bradovich said. “Our foursome didn’t realize it (was the hole with the car for a prize). Finally, somebody did mention it.”
Then it was O’Bradovich who was jumping up and down.
“When I found out it was like, ‘Oh my God!’’’ he said.
The 67-year-old retired Lynch native was playing with his nephew, Mark Merritt, and two friends from Lexington. It was the second time he played the Bellefonte course.
Most of his life, though, he played on a par-3, seven-hole course in Lynch. But he never once recorded a hole-in-one.
“I’m just a casual golfer,” he sad. “Maybe once a week.”
O’Bradovich, who has been known to do some practical jokes, texted his wife about the prize but she didn’t believe him.
“I sort of blow a little smoke kidding around with the grandkids,” he said. “She said she’d have to see the car and me.”
However, she told her husband if he really did win the car, not to forget her birthday was coming up July 15.
“So whether I get to keep this car or not is under some question,” he said.
O’Bradovich, who became a junior celebrity at the course Friday, said his stomach was still churning.
“I came up here Thursday sometime,” he said. “I had some kind of stomach virus. The virus is gone but the butterflies are fluttering around.”
Everybody wanted a photograph with him, he said.
“I’ve taken more pictures today than I’ve had in the last five years,” he said. “But nobody has asked for my autograph.”
The OLBH benefit has offered a free car hole every year of the 34-year-old tournament but it never happened until Friday.
Dealerships are covered under insurance policies in the event that someone makes the hole-in-one.
“I’ll be coming back next year driving a Cadillac,” O’Bradovich said. “It might be my wife’s Cadillac, but I’ll be driving one.”
O’Bradovich was presented the car by Jimmy Hall, a representative of Don Hall GM Supercenter.
Proceeds from the golf benefit and Thursday’s accompanying silent auction support the hospital’s acquisition of state-of-the-art medical equipment for its vascular program and to the Holy Family School Scholarship established in memory of former OLBH vice president Jim Fuzy.
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2648.