What nearly proved to be a missed opportunity resulted in Wanda Stokes' first ever hole-in-one this past Tuesday.
The Sunnyside golfer showed up Tuesday morning for her weekly round with the Black Rock Creek 18-hole ladies group. Because of inclement weather, course officials delayed the group's starting time.
Stokes recalled that she nearly packed up her equipment and was going to call it a day because she doesn't enjoy playing in the cold.
"I am so happy that I changed my mind and actually played," she said.
Because of that decision, the long-time golfer now has an ace to her credit.
The hole-in-one came on the par-3, ninth hole. Using a 7-iron, she sent her tee shot straight towards the green, where the ball released and began rolling in the direction of the flag. Stokes said she didn't think it would find the bottom of the cup, "...when it just disappeared."
Witnessing the exciting moment were the two players in Stokes' group that day, Donna Kroger of Sunnyside and Elva Mattocks of Prosser.
Before retrieving the ball from the cup, Stokes snapped a photo of it nestled in the hole. She admits the ball in question will not be put back into play. Instead, "...I'll probably keep that ball forever in my china cabinet so I won't lose it," she said.
Tradition dictates that when a golfer notches a hole-in-one, he or she is on the hook for a round of drinks once back in the clubhouse.
"I don't drink, so I bought the ladies who played with me lunch," she said.
The weekly competition this past Tuesday for the ladies group was to count the best nine scores from each 18-hole round, applying half of each golfer's established handicap. The overall winner proved to be Maryanne Currier of Prosser, who netted a 25.5 score. Kroger and Stokes tied for second-place honors, half a stroke back, with identical 26's. Sunnyside's Delores Dasso rounded out the top finishes with a net score of 28.
Besides the ace that Stokes notched, other personal highlights from Tuesday's play included a birdie by Carol Monholland of Sunnyside on the par-5, sixth hole; and a chip-in by Currier on No. 5.