Golfer Survives Mid-Round Illinois Sinkhole

Sinkhole opened up beneath golfer on the fairway

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013  |  Updated 11:45 AM CDT
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Golfer Survives Mid-Round Illinois Sinkhole

Golfmanna

When it comes to dealing with this divot, score one for golfer Mark Mihal.

The mortgage broker from Creve Coeur, Mo., is recovering after a sinkhole opened up beneath him Friday on the fairway at the 14th hole of a southwestern Illinois golf course.

The pit that swallowed him was 18 feet deep and 10 feet wide.

The 43-year-old Mihal was hoisted to safety with a rope. The encounter at Annbriar Golf Course near Waterloo just southeast of St. Louis left him with a dislocated shoulder.

Although Mihal says he still considers the course one of his favorites, he's having second thoughts about returning there, saying "it'd be kind of strange playing that hole again, for sure."

Mihal's wife, Lori Mihal, told Golfmanna that her husband's playing partner "could hear Mark moaning and ran in the direction where he had been standing just a few seconds earlier. "

“I felt the ground start to collapse and it happened so fast that I couldn’t do anything,” Mihal said. “I reached for the ground as I was going down and it gave way, too. It seemed like I was falling for a long time. The real scary part was I didn’t know when I would hit bottom and what I would land on.” 

Lori Mihal said she was dumbfounded when she heard the story and thanked God they got her husband out of the hole.

"I, too, couldn’t help but think of the recent news buzz about sinkholes and people being lost forever."

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