HUMBOLDT — Humboldt resident Murray Lees was on the fourth hole of the Moon Lake Golf and Country Club’s Highland course in Saskatoon, competing in the Auto Clearing Senior Men’s Championship.
The par 3 hole is around 140 yards in length, depending where one tees off. On that day on June 23, the wind was blowing strongly to the west. Lees decided to use his five iron for the job.
The ball disappeared. It was a hole in one. Lees had won $5,000.
“I didn't have my glasses on, so I had no idea,” he said. “I was just going by what the guys said. They said, ‘I think it’s in.’
“Then I drove down with a cart parked on the back of the green and realized there was a ball sitting at the back of the green. Then they walked up – they were pull-carting it, I was in a cart – and they went up to it, pulled the flag and I thought, ‘that’s my ball,’ as it rolled by.”
At first, Lees wasn’t thinking too much about the hole in one.
“I didn't want to lose my focus, and the guys were yelling and screaming and I am going, ‘so what?’ After the round I started thinking about it and I thought that's pretty cool, to win money on a stroke.”
In fact, he kept using the lucky ball until his partners told him to use a different one. He still has the ball as a memento.
This is Lees’ third hole in one, but his first one during a tournament.
“When you're out with your friends, it’s quite different than on a winning hole,” he said.
Lees ended up shooting an 80 that day.
“So, I probably did lose focus a bit, but yeah, it was okay.”
As for the prize money, Lees said he’s going to use it to help children go to nearby bible camps, like Stoney Lake Bible Camp south of Tisdale and Torch Trail Bible Camp north of Nipawin.
He said he was talking about having a golf tournament for a fundraiser for those at-risk kids who can't go to camp.
“That's really what we want. We don't need it [the money],” he said, “We’ll be just helping out kids.”
Lees is also a cancer survivor. Three and a half years ago, he had a stem cell transplant. The doctor told him that he wouldn't be golfing. Lees said he’s still on a series of drugs and doing chemo every two weeks.
Before he chatted to the Humboldt Journal at the Humboldt Golf Club about his hole in one, he'd golfed in Kelvington. After the interview, he went home to pick up his clubs for another round of nine holes.
“You have to remember the good. That's important, you got to remember the good, what you got,” he said. “I have nine grandkids. Those are the things that will keep you going. It's not the good shots anymore.”