A 93-year-old golfer finally ended his 65-year wait for a first hole-in-one – and promptly retired from the sport.
In fact, Ben Bender, from Zanesville, Ohio, didn’t even finish the round as his “hips were hurting”, with the religious American believing it was God’s way of telling him the time had come to put the clubs away.
Having taken up golf at the age of 28, Bender progressed to a peak handicap of three, but had never managed to ace a hole in his entire career until this week.
“I’d come close to some hole-in-ones, but this one was level on the green before it curved towards the hole and went in,” Bender told the Zanesville Times Recorder.
Playing on the Green Valley Golf Course, Bender began his round poorly, carding an eight and seven on the first two holes. But come the third, his magical moment suddenly came out of nowhere.
“I was in awe watching it,” he added. “I played a few more holes, but my hips were hurting and I had to stop. It seemed the Lord knew this was my last round so he gave me a hole-in-one.”
At his peak, Bender played six days per week while living in Florida, before moving back to Zanesville after retirement from his job as a moldmaker for Hazel Atlas and selling insurance.
“I was lucky to play golf this long, but I never expected (a hole-in-one),” he said. “It was the last time I was able to play, and I think God had a hand in this. I loved the game and hate to give it up, but I can’t play forever.”
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