Golfer falls into sinkhole on Illinois fairway

10:10 AM, Mar 13, 2013   |    comments
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Golfers look down the sinkhole on the Annbriar Golf Course fairway (USA Today)

WATERLOO, Ill. (KSDK) - A 43-year-old Creve Coeur man was injured Friday after falling into a sinkhole at the fairway of the 14th hole at the Annbriar Golf Course in Waterloo.

Mark Mihal, the founder of fantasy golf website GolfManna.com and a mortgage dealer for USA Mortgage, was part of a foursome playing the course when the ground opened up beneath him. Mihal plummeted some 18 feet and landed in mud at the bottom of the sinkhole, according to his wife, Lori.

The other golfers in Mihal's foursome contacted the clubhouse immediately and asked that they call for an ambulance, as well as a ladder and some rope.

Lori Mihal said her husband, who's always been claustrophobic, dislocated his shoulder in the fall and was unable to use one of his arms to try and climb out.

Dirt was beginning to fall on Mark Mihal's head and his friends grew more concerned. The golf course staff brought out a ladder, but it was far too short to reach Mihal.

One of Mihal's golf buddies, Ed Magaletta, volunteered to go into the sinkhole and help him get to the ladder. Magaletta descended into the hole, tied a rope around his friend and used his sweater to make a sling for Mihal.

Mihal was hoisted up and able to grab the ladder. He was out of the sinkhole within 20 minutes and taken to an ambulance that arrived at the golf course.

(KSDK St. Louis)

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