E.A. Sports Today

SKCC ace to bring prize

Insurance company to award Hansek ‘consolation prize’ for his second-chance hole-in-one during Sunny King Charity Classic

Randy Reaves (L) walks off the 18th green with former partner Gary Wigington (R) and Ty Cole after the new partners won the Sunny King Charity Classic Sunday. It was Wigington's sixth win, tying him with Reaves for most in tournament history.

Randy Reaves (L) walks off the 18th green with former partner Gary Wigington (R) and Ty Cole after the new partners won the Sunny King Charity Classic Sunday. It was Wigington’s sixth win, tying him with Reaves for most in tournament history.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Jeff Hansek may not have won the tickets for his second-chance hole-in-one in the Sunny King Charity Classic last weekend, but he’s getting a pretty neat consolation prize.

Hansek aced the 16th hole at Anniston Country Club during Friday’s first round, but because he used a mulligan to do it the shot wasn’t eligible for the two airline tickets that went for such a feat.

But Classic officials said Monday the insurance company that underwrites their tournament hole-in-one policy, Wisconsin-based Tournament Pros, has agreed to award Hansek a $500 prize.

“That’s awesome,” said Hansek, who received a note on the decision right before heading into the dentist office Monday. “I couldn’t believe it. That was a nice surprise.”

Hansek, a 36-year-old marketing director for his family’s in-home health care business and an ACC member, had to take the do-over to help his team.

His first shot on the uphill par-3 bounced into Highland Avenue behind the green and his partner’s two shots were not playable. He hit the same pitching wedge he swung on his first attempt and this one found the bottom of the cup.

On Friday he told East Alabama Sports Today he was disappointed about not winning the prize, but as a sponsor of other hole-in-one contests in the past he understands “rules are rules.”

Still, the ace has created a lot of buzz. Almost everyone Hansek has talked to since the shot has said something about it — mostly “congratulations and I’m sorry.”

It was the only hole-in-one in this year’s tournament. Last year two players won $20,000 towards the purchase of a car from the title sponsor and another won airline tickets.

“I didn’t expect a thing other than a pat on the back,” he said. “I did not expect a thing, honestly. It seems like a really cool gesture. They didn’t have to do that at all.”

Ty Cole and Gary Wigington won this year’s tournament, shooting a record-breaking 43-under-par 171. It was Cole’s first Classic title and Wigington’s record-tying sixth.

BOUNCING BACK: Jaylon Ellison shook off the disappointment of finishing second in the 38th King Classic on his 38th birthday to claim his second pro win Monday, taking the Open Golf Atlanta event at the Country Club of the South. He shot 6-under 66 with eight birdies and won by three.

He would have won by a wider margin, but was assessed a two-shot penalty when his group, which hadn’t played a practice round on the tournament course, got off track and played a wrong hole. He parred the hole, but the penalty gave him a double bogey.

Ellison was the only one penalized, however, because he had the honors and hit a shot, but, like Dustin Johnson at the U.S. Open or Ty Cole in the Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Am, he didn’t know where he stood on the leaderboard for several holes. His group got back on the right course when the group behind it rode up and pointed the way.

“The game teaches us something every day,” Ellison said. “It was a crazy situation. I just stuck with the game plan and tried to finish strong despite an unfortunate break.”

SHARED JOY: While Gary Wigington and Ty Cole were beaming proudly as they raised the Sunny King Charity Classic trophy, there was somebody else in the gallery Sunday night who was just as happy as the winners.

Randy Reaves won five King Classic titles with Wigington between 2000 and 2012. When he stepped away from the partnership after their 2013 runner-up finish, it was to give his partner the best chance to win many more knowing his upcoming obligations would keep him from staying golf-sharp enough to get him there.

With Sunday’s win, Wigington moved into a tie with his former partner atop the all-time SKCC wins list (six). Reaves may not be his partner any more, but he’s never stopped being a fan.

“It means a lot to me that he now has the record,” Reaves said. “I do not want him to stop at six, however; I want seven, eight, nine. That was one of the two reasons I gave him when I decided to stop playing. I told him the main reason was for (son Will’s baseball career), but that I wanted him to have the record and as long as I continued to play he would not be able to get it.

“He has been the best player in this area for so long and I felt it would have been selfish on my part to continue to play without giving 100 percent effort in preparation and that was not going to be possible with Will’s schedule. In typical fashion for him he said he did not care about that; he wanted us to continue to play. I told him he may not care about it, but I did, and after seeing his joy yesterday I think he realizes it now, too.”

Reaves did play in the Classic this year for the first time since his “retirement,” but only as an emergency partner when Kevin Daugherty’s partner got ill shortly before Saturday’s round. He and Wigington have talked about putting the band back together again for old time’s sake, but that won’t happen again until “he gets done winning” and the priorities of their approach to the tournament changes.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login