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Golf: Stroke of luck – Gage sinks hole-in-one after triple bypass surgery

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, June 4, 2016
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One Shot Needed

ONE SHOT NEEDED – Decatur’s Robert Gage hit a hole-in-one on No. 5 at Lake Kiowa Sunday. It was his third round after recovering from a triple bypass in March. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Stepping onto the fifth tee box at the 174-yard par 3 at Lake Kiowa, Robert Gage just hoped to put the ball close during his impromptu round Sunday.

Soon after connecting with the ball, Gage’s playing partner and brother-in-law David Riley pointed out that the ball was heading toward the pin.

“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was good, and when it landed on the green, David said it may go in,” Gage recalled. “Then it rolled in. I just threw my club up and yelled.”

The first hole-in-one for Gage was even more special to him, coming in only his third round after suffering a heart attack in March and undergoing a triple bypass March 2.

“It’s one of those deals – I’m not supposed to be here according to doctors,” Gage said.

“It’s the grace of God that I’m here. I wasn’t meant to go yet and now to get a bucket list item that I never thought I’d fulfill in my third round back is incredible. I’m a lucky man.”

Gage, 58, has been playing golf most of his life, but he’s quick to point out that he’s nowhere near a scratch golfer in talking about his hole-in-one.

“When you’re a plus-15 hacker, you just hope to get it close,” Gage said.

He did come close to a hole-in-one previously at Canyon West, putting the ball within 3 inches on a par 3.

After his health scare, getting back on the course helped motivate him through his recovery.

“I was waiting to get back and play again. It’s something I love to do and the camaraderie of it,” Gage said.

He even upgraded clubs as he waited to get back on the links.

“When I bought the clubs, I didn’t even get to try them out because I was not supposed to be swinging,” Gage said.

He hadn’t planned on playing Sunday until Riley mentioned getting in a quick nine in the evening.

“We were hanging out around the house, and he asked if I had my clubs,” Gage said. “They never leave the back seat.”

On the fifth hole Sunday, the pin was located at the back of the green behind a mound.

“It was crazy it went in when you saw the mound it had to go over and the way it had to curve,” Gage said.

Gage is quick to say over the past few months, he’s just a lucky man.

“I’ve been blessed that I healed fast and everything has fallen into place,” he said.

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