Sharpshooter upset with new golf tournament rule

Golf ball
File photo (MGN Online/US Marines)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A man who won three boats in a Fond du Lac golf tournament is upset that a rule change will prevent him from being eligible for another prize until 2016.

The Walleye Weekend Hole-In-One Shootout offers $1 million to competitors who land a hole in one. Those closest to the hole can win golf clubs, trips and boats. But a new rule bars Jeff Lehner and others who have won such prizes in the previous two events from getting a secondary prize this year.

Lehner won fishing boats in 2005, 2012 and 2013 when his tee shots were closest to the pin. Other golfers “have every chance to win, just like I do,” Lehner said. “I feel I should be treated as everybody else.”

Lehner, who golfs with only a thumb and part of his forefinger on his right hand because of a childhood accident, said he sold the boats.

Event organizer Fond du Lac Festivals told The Reporter Media the change ensures fairness for more players.

“The (hole-in-one) rules were amended in their entirety and as a result the board unanimously decided to allow more competitors the chance to win the local prizes,” Leanne Doyle, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.

Those golfers can still win $1 million or two new cars if they hit a hole-in-one during the three-hole event.

“I would love to (see someone win the million dollars),” Doyle said. “I think we would all love to see that.”

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