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Golfer Falls Down 18-Foot Sinkhole On Course

8:34 PM, Mar 12, 2013   |    comments
  • Mark Mihal's playing partners look down into a sink hole that caved in beneath Mihal (Photo: golfmanna)
  • (Photo: golfmanna)
    
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(USA TODAY) -- The co-founder of a fantasy golfing website was injured when an 18-foot sinkhole opened beneath him on the 14th fairway at an Illinois golf course.

Mark Mihal, the co-founder of golfmanna.com, was playing last Friday and fell deep into the earth before being rescued by his playing partners and clubhouse crew.

His wife, Lori, describes the frightening incident:

[Mark] went out to play a familiar course in Waterloo, Ill., with his regular Friday foursome. He was having a great round and lots of laughs with his buddies. They were in the fairway on No. 14; Mark had already hit his second shot when he went to check out the distance for his playing partner, Mike Peters, who was getting ready to hit. Mike had his back to Mark and when he turned to say something to him, Mark was gone.

Mike could hear Mark moaning and ran in the direction where he had been standing just a few seconds earlier. It was immediately clear what had happened; the ground had caved in and Mark had fallen into the earth - 18 feet underground.

"I felt the ground start to collapse and it happened so fast that I couldn't do anything," Mark said later. "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."

That's terrifying. Normally the biggest worry while standing on the 14th fairway is that the cart girl won't return before the 18th.

Because Mark hurt his shoulder in the fall, one of his playing partners volunteered to go into the hole to help him get out. He tied a rope around Mark, who was hoisted to the surface after approximately 20 minutes underground.

We wish Mark a quick recovery. Kudos to all involved for quick thinking and their life-saving efforts; even you, guy who decided to take a picture of the sinkhole instead of helping out. Even you.

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