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Fonnesbeck wins cruise at shootout

Golfers fail in bid to bag $2 million

Medford's Marty Fonnesbeck was zeroed in on the pins at Stewart Meadows Golf Course for four days during the $2 Million Hole-in-One Shootout for Kids.

Fonnesbeck, 29, hit three shots into a 6-foot circle in the opening round and stopped a wedge shot 30 inches from the hole in the semifinals on Sunday to lead five players into the wind-swept finals with a shot at $2 million for a potential hole-in-one.

Fonnesbeck hit an 8-iron to within 131 inches of the pin on the fifth green in the finals to win what turned out to be a closest-to-the-pin contest when no finalist scored the improbable hole-in-one.

The shot came from 150 yards out into a strong crosswind.

I was trying to play for the wind and hit the shot the right distance, said Fonnesbeck, who won a four-day cruise with his wife, Tricia, to Mexico by hitting his shot closest to the pin among the five finalists and five other finalists shooting for a $42,000 Acura.

The wind was not only blowing left to right, but into the contestant's faces.

It wasn't an easy shot with the wind blowing like it was, said Fonnesbeck. But I thought I hit a pretty good shot.

Tim Mort, a finalist for the Acura, hit the second-closest shot to the pin among all 10 finalists, lofting a 7-iron shot to within 167 inches of the pin. He won a golf/lodging package for two for two days to Running Y Golf Course and Resort for his second-place performance.

Jeff Williams was third among the 10 finalists at 321 inches. David Boals Jr. finished fourth, Fred Sowers fifth, Craig Lausmann sixth, Dave Welf seventh, Dustin Bell eighth, Bob Blackford ninth and Chuck Slelvensky 10th.

Mort said he was pleased with his shot, which held up as the leader until Fonnesbeck shot down the mark as the final contestant.

I thought I was going to win, said Mort. But I'm still happy. I hit a solid shot. I thought it was going to be close but the wind got it a little bit.

Jingo Etheridge won the chipping contest in the finals. He pitched his shot, from 70 feet away, up a hill on the fourth green.

His lob wedge shot came down approximately 10 feet short of the cup, hopped twice and trickled just around the right lip of the cup and spun out. The ball rolled 40 inches past the cup, but that shot held up as the winner.

If Etheridge's chip shot in the finals had gone in, he would have won $5,000.

I'm not disappointed, said Etheridge. I hit a good shot, and I'm happy with it. It could have gone in, but it didn't. That's golf.

Fonnesbeck finished second in the chipping finals with a shot 68 1/4 inches away.

Rob Robbins was third at 190 inches, Claude Akins fourth at 219 and Guy Giffen fifth at 232.

Scott Irving won the putting contest in the finals. His 70-foot putt stopped 27 inches from the cup. Dave Welt was second at 81 inches away, Mike Slavensky third at 83, Mort fourth at 139 and Gary Haberman fifth at 230 inches.