On June 19, Ben Lomond resident Justin Russell received a $25,000 check — his prize for shooting a hole-in-one May 18 at Seascape Golf Club in Aptos.
Russell, 29, was playing in the annual Michael J. Russell Golf Tournament, which is held in memory of his late father to benefit the students at St. Lawrence Academy in Felton. He is an alumnus of the school, where his mother, now retired, was principal.
“I couldn’t see it go in,” Russell said of his 175-yard shot on the par-3 16th hole.
The hole was sponsored by Abbott’s Thrift, and the $25,000 prize was paid by way of an insurance policy purchased from a national organization.
A spotter at the hole was unsure the ace counted until she asked a question by radio, Russell said.
“We hear on the radio, ‘Hey, if it hits the ground first, does it still count?’” Russell said. “We went racing up to the green and saw it. I had no idea it went in. It was pretty wild.”
Russell, who said he plays golf four or five times a year, was golfing with a foursome including Laird Valory, Nathan Clausing and Matt Crowe. He used a 4-iron and a Titleist golf ball.
As for the winnings, Russell donated some back to the school, saved some and used a portion to buy a second tow truck for his new business, Mountain Valley Towing & Transport.
Russell has lived in Ben Lomondsince 1987.