Planet Golf — 13 March 2013 by GW staff and news services
New meaning for hole-in-one

ST.  LOUIS — It was just another round for Mark Mihal on the links when he noticed an unusual depression on the 14th fairway at Annbriar  Golf Club in southern Illinois. Remarking to his friends how awkward it  would be to have to hit out of it, he went over for a closer look.

One  step onto the pocked section and the 43-year-old mortgage broker plunged into a  sinkhole (similar to the one pictured). He landed 18 feet down with a painful thud, and his friends managed to  hoist him to safety with a rope after about 20 minutes. But Friday’s experience  gave Mihal quite a fright, particularly after the recent death of a Florida man  whose body hasn’t been found since a sinkhole swallowed him and  his bedroom.

“I  feel lucky just to come out of it with a shoulder injury, falling that far and  not knowing what I was going to hit,” Mihal, from the St. Louis suburb of Creve  Coeur, told The Associated Press before heading off to learn whether he’ll need surgery. “It  was absolutely crazy.”

Annbriar  general manager Russ  Nobbe described the sinkhole as “an extremely unfortunate event, an event we  feel is an act of nature.”

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