MYRTLE BEACH — Adam Wood and his fiancée, June Reavis, both work and have two sons under the age of 2, and they found themselves in a perplexing financial and logistical dilemma two weeks ago.
Reavis’ GMC Envoy with more than 200,000 miles broke down, and the couple received an estimate of $1,200 to get it back on the road.
So Reavis has been driving Wood’s 2007 two-door Scion TC with 100,000 miles, and Wood has been driving an old Ford F-150 pickup borrowed from Reavis’ father while trying to determine what to do about a needed second vehicle. “We don’t have the money, and it’s not worth putting in [the Envoy] now, anyway,” Wood said.
Enter the third annual Tate ‘Taterbug’ Litton Memorial Charity Golf Tournament at Island Green Country Club on Saturday, and a stroke of luck.
Wood, who plays golf maybe twice a year and generally shoots more than 100, made a hole-in-one on the 165-yard 16th hole. The prize for an ace on that hole was a 2013 Toyota Corolla through Sparks Toyota and Hole-in-One U.S.A., which underwrote the prize.
Problem miraculously solved.
“I thank God, honestly. I really do,” said Wood, of Conway. “I don’t know how to explain it other than just God looking out. I think there are people who deserve it a lot more than I do, that’s for sure. But I think he let it happen to me, so I’m very thankful. It’s unbelievable, actually.”
It’s at least highly improbable if not unbelievable.
Greg Esterhai, owner of U.S. Hole in One, which has been providing hole-in-one prize insurance since 1998 and participates in about 9,000 events a year, said his company has calculated the odds of an amateur golfer making an ace on a 165-yard hole to be 1 in 12,500. And Wood’s skill level makes his odds even higher.
“It took me a while for it to sink in that he actually did something like that, especially how bad he is at golf,” said Reavis, an aquatics instructor for the city of Conway whose father played golf for Coastal Carolina. “The timing was perfect.”
Sparks Toyota manager Ben Brown said the dealership has offered cars in a handful of charity golf tournaments each year for the past 30 years and this is the first time it has awarded one.
Wood, 25, a driver for Leonard building and truck accessories, was invited by his father, Wes, to play in the Litton tournament that benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk and the Children’s Recovery Center in Myrtle Beach. The entry fee was $85.
“It’s expensive, but it’s for a good cause so I really wanted to play,” said Wood, who moved to the Grand Strand nearly four years ago from Mount Airy, N.C., after visiting his father for a summer and deciding to stay.
Wood wasn’t sure he’d be able to honor his commitment because work was backed up after he missed three days early in the week when his work truck was being repaired. But he worked late Thursday night and completed delivery of a building Friday night, and that freed him up to play.
He had told his father Thursday night to have a replacement on call in case he couldn’t make it.
“He was upset Thursday because he committed to play and didn’t know if he’d be able to. It was almost a last minute kind of thing,” said Wes Wood, who had never witnessed an ace in 40 years playing the game. “You just have to look at some situations and go, ‘That was meant to be.’
“… I play in a bunch of these captain’s choice events and you always see a car for a hole-in-one, and nobody ever wins that.”
Wood was playing with his father, stepmother and one of her friends and the par-3 was their fifth hole after a shotgun start. Wood plays with his deceased grandfather’s old set of clubs, but because the shafts are too flexible for his swing he borrowed his father’s 7-iron on the 16th.
The shot began right of the pin but drifted back to the left, took two hops and rolled into the cup, causing the contest’s two spotters at the green to leap in celebration and Wood’s playing partners to jump on him in jubilation.
“They about tackled me to the ground,” said Wood, who cried tears of joy on the tee box. “I couldn’t believe it. I kind of got a little emotional because we really need [the car].”
It’s customary for a golfer who makes an ace to buy a round of drinks for his playing partners in the clubhouse after the round. “There were like 200 people playing or something, so I said, ‘That ain’t happening,’” Wood said. “[The event] had free drinks already.”
Wood and his fiancée drove to Sparks Toyota on Sunday to peruse the cars. They both like the charcoal grey Corollas, while Wood is also partial to red.
Wood expects to have the car within two weeks. He must first sign a notarized affidavit, supply a scorecard signed by the foursome, and fill out paperwork for the car title.
“Sometimes when I’m driving down the road I think about it and just laugh,” Wood said. “I still can’t believe this has happened.”
Wood will likely continue playing only a couple rounds a year, and he’s got one of those on his calendar for years to come. “I’m definitely going to try to play in that tournament every year,” he said.
Look for the guy in the charcoal grey or red Corolla.
Contact ALAN BLONDIN at 626-0284.