Arant on the mark with ace in SOGC

His first hole-in-one nets a luxury car during qualifying round

Mike Arant was feeling a bit prankish, so he took his wife, Chris, out to a golf hole and showed her a luxury car.

It was being offered as a hole-in-one prize during the Southern Oregon Golf Championships.

SOGC

RECAP: Mike Arant, a former longtime Medford resident, makes a hole-in-one on the par-3 11th during men's super-senior qualifying and wins a Cadillac worth nearly $50,000.

up next: Today, match play begins in all divisions.

"I asked her if she liked it," said Arant. "She said, 'It's kind of cute.'"

"Good," he said, "it's yours."

She didn't believe him. But really, it was hers.

Arant chose a magnificent time to make the first hole-in-one of his 20-year-plus golfing career, acing the 11th hole on the Rogue Course Wednesday during qualifying for out-of-town men and all women players at Rogue Valley Country Club.

The prize? A 2013 Cadillac ATS, valued at $48,115.

There were prizes on the other par 3s, too. A stay-and-play vacation to TPC Sawgrass. A set of RAZR X Black Irons. A $500 online apparel shopping spree.

And the Caddy.

"If I was going to do it, I picked the right one," said Arant, 67, who is in the men's super-senior division.

Arant's shot, anything but errant, of course, was the highlight of Day 2 of the tournament. Medalists were determined in all divisions, save for the men's and senior women's.

In the men's regular, Jimmy White's 2-under-par 70 from Tuesday was matched by Ryan Hawkins on Wednesday. In women's senior play Wednesday, Nancy Moore and Claudia Robbs each shot 85 to lead the way. Three-hole playoffs will break the ties.

One men's and one women's medalist were determined Wednesday. John Dunkin took the men's super-senior prize with a 71, while Trina Jones shot 2-over 75 to lead the women's.

Scores that held up for medal honors from Tuesday were by Kevin Klabunde in men's junior-senior (71) and Marty Morlan in men's senior (68).

Match play begins today through Monday, when championships in all divisions and flights in the 416-player event will be decided.

Arant, 67, won't get a medalist trophy, but he's good with that.

"The nice thing," said the 1964 Medford High graduate about his momentous shot, "was that it actually worked out the way I planned. It wasn't a carom-off-the-cart-path, bounce-off-a-tree sort of thing."

Arant was a longtime attorney and judge in the area before moving to Bastrop, Texas, so he and his wife could be close to their grandchildren.

The RVCC layout and the SOGC are not new to him. Making aces is.

He used a 3-hybrid on the 165-yard hole, putting his customary fade on a nice, high approach. It hit 20 or 30 feet short and spun toward the hole.

"Basically, I just wanted to hit the green," said Arant, whose playing partners were George Parsons, Kevin Aguirre and Darrell Hunt.

That was no small feat with the cup cut behind a bunker. When Arant first walked to the tee box, he took note of the tucked pin placement and remarked, "They really don't want to give that car away, do they?"

There was even confusion after he hit the shot. The group on the tee box couldn't see it go into the hole, and spotters behind the green yelled at them, but Arant couldn't make out what was being said.

When they got to the green, they found the ball hadn't dropped to the bottom of the cup. Rather, it was pinned to the top edge by the flag stick.

"It took them a bunch of phone calls to see how to do this (get the ball to fall) without screwing it up," said Arant.

He said he'd do whatever they wanted to ensure his prize.

Finally, he was allowed the honors.

"I just moved the pin away," he said. "It was leaning to the southeast, I moved it to the northwest and it dropped in."

There was appropriate revelry.

"As big a cheer as you can get out of four guys and a couple bystanders," said Arant. "It wasn't like the crowd went wild or anything."

Airport Cadillac sponsored the hole prize, and it had insurance through American Hole-In-One. Paperwork was completed after the round, and once the insurer interviews witnesses to confirm the ace, it'll send a check for the car to Airport Cadillac, said Michelle Johannes, RVCC membership director. The dealership will in turn hand over the keys to Arant.

In years past, Arant would lose his amateur status if he accepted a prize valued at more than $750. But the U.S. Golf Association has amended the rule to exclude holes-in-one achieved during a round of golf.

Arant, who has a handicap of 18, was having a normal round when he got to No. 11, and that didn't change after the excitement.

He shot a 46 on the front nine — "I couldn't putt," he said — and 45 on the back.

At the par-5 12th hole, he hit three good shots to reach the back fringe, then putted on and twice more after that for a respectable bogey.

"You've still got a bunch of golf to play," he said. "It doesn't matter. You just settle down and do it. I'm not really an excitable person anyhow."

But he occasionally does exciting things.

Wednesday's Results

Out-of-town qualifying

MENS REGULAR — Ryan Hawkins 70, Jon Robinson 71, Ryan Schaeffer 74, Steve Taormino 74, Brooks Newsom 75, Jon Portz 76, Jerom Gilbert 76, Edward Pulpan 78, Robert Galli 79, Joey Rossknecht 80, Chris Swartsley 81, Orette Facey 81, Jesse Taylor 82, Adam Huycke 82, Michael Richardson 82, Chris Norlander 83, Jim Achenbach 84, Dan Wayman 85, Blake Bartlett 86, Scott Entinger 86, Michael McCaslin 87, Rick Buchler 87, Dan Shanklin 88, Josh Huffman 88, Matthew Eschlenbacher 88, James Parsley 88, Al Reynolds 90, Scott Sterton 91, Jim Stormo 91, Mike Dunlevy 92, Kevin Anderson 94, Collin Krueger 95, Jim Corbett 96, Tim Shaw 97, John Hernandez 100, Nic Corbett 101, Billy Burke 107, Jad Dickson 109, Lynn Knight 108.

JUNIOR-SENIOR — David Kaplan 72, Tommy Smith 73, Kevin Cruncher 74, Gary Loeb 76, Brian Odell 76, Michael Riley 78, Dick Debernardi 78, Erick Doolen 78, Brooks Gard 79, John Justin 80, Joel Jessel 80, Rick McCabe 80, Mark Hash 83, Geoff Loomis 83, Eric Hansen 84, Richard Lozano 85, Jim Mansfield 85, Tim Hornecker 86, Tom Jones 86, William Trott 86, Jim Multeret 86, Brian Sherill 89, Kevin Jones 90, Michael Diehl 91, Jim Retzlaff 92, Lance Hunter 96, Christian Carrigan 97, Mark Hardin 97, Jack Lewis 98, Chris Miller 100.

SENIOR — Doug Ward 72, Ken VanDamm 76, Robert Hyer 77, Alex Merkner 78, Scott Mayfield 78, Steven Welch 79, Terry Newsom 80, Vaughn Schneider 80, Robert Tennant 81, Chet Gonczeruk 82, John Given 82, Ron Howard 82, Jerry Sessions 83, Mark Binegar 83, James Muhall 83, Gary Sterton 84, Roger Peck 85, Kenneth Linden 87, Mark Artner 89, Chick Carnese 90, Ed Knight 90, William Milimuka 90, Ralph Perry 91, A Proctor 91, Darrell Hunt 92, Steven Rodermund 92, Cliff Barnett 93, Jim Hauck 93, Don Mitchell 93, Gibb Mitchell 94, Kevin Aguirre 95, Henry Burgoyne 95, Mark Fauven.

SUPER SENIOR — John Dunkin 71, Chuck Kenney 83, Tom Riley 87, Fred Ferreira 88, John Root 90, Herb Crenshaw 90, Gary Mann 90, Bruce McDonald 91, Mike Arrant 91, David Mansfield 92, Gary Bonner 93, Dodd Samuel 94, George Parsons 96, Harvey Myers 97, Bob Glover 97, Roger Dawes 105, Bob Ferrari 106, Pat O'Brien 107.

WOMEN — Trina Jones 75, Terry Levis 77, Kelly Loeb 78, Rosie Cook 78, Tracie Armitage 78, Calista Crenshaw 83, Lori Humphrey 83, Lindsey Stockton 83, Jessica Young 83, Christina Phelps 84, Tina Blum 85, Kathy Pauck 90, Laura Pinkham 90, Tory Nieto 91, Julia Tissen 91, Maureen McFadden 91, Toni Doolen 91, Melinda Heiner 92, Toni Watkins 92, Annette VanDaam 92, Leslie Gainey 92, Michele Rostron 94, Barbara Stormo 94, Tammie, Allen 95, Cindy Hall 96, Tonia Waldron 97, Diane Tucker 98, Dana Carrigan 98, Cathy Trower 99, Julie Austad 104, Bridgitte Griffin 103, Dana Cody 106.

SENIOR WOMEN — Nancy Moore 85, Claudia Robbs 85, Cindy Fortier 87, Alison Myers 87, Judy Slater 87, Jennifer Owens 88, Gayle Jantzer 89, Toni Anderberg 89, Cathy Dunlap 90, Sue Hunter 90, Marianne Metzger 91, Linda Tungsvik 93, Dianne Angelich 93, Jan Hughes 94, Teri Mayer 94, Pamela Schepis 94, Rosemary Harrington 94, Sheri Driskill 95, Peggy Tomlins 95, Susie Daly 95, Deborah Anderson 96, Barbara Pinkham 97, Deb Stuart 97, Janet Stark 97, Maggie Kilroy 97, Diane Plotts 99, Alice Elaine Hunt 99, Becky Barry 100, Sue Flinchpaugh 102, Coral Edwards 103, Patti Simpson Ward 106, Alice Petrich 113.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com


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