Ben Berger wanted to go out in grand fashion for his "Par for the Cause" Grand Finale.
The local golf pro chipped in for eagle on his 612th and final hole of golf during a 16-hour marathon day that began at 5:29am Friday morning at Juday Creek Golf Course and ended at 9:30pm.
It was the final time Berger is doing the event, which has raised more than $200,000 for the Autism Center at LOGAN in its 5-year existence.
Berger's final hole had all kinds of chaos. He was playing the par five 9th hole and actually had his approach land on a golf cart. After taking a free drop, he chipped in--causing a massive explosion from the many fans and on-lookers in attendance.
"That's the way you finish," Berger screamed out throwing his arms in the air.
He then approached the hole and gave a big hug to his wife Stefanie who was standing by to hand him his putter. He never needed it. Stefanie is eight months pregnant as the couple will be bringing-in the next generation of a marathon golfer in July.
"I can't describe it," a choked up Stefanie said when asked how proud she was of her husband and what he's accomplished over the last five years during this event.
Ben's previous record was 600 holes--set last year. But that came at Eberhart where he served as the golf pro for the last four years. In fact, Eberhart hosted all four of the previous "Par for the Cause" events. That course is 90 acres. Juday Creek is 140 acres. But in the end, that didn't seem to change anything--Ben was still completing a full round of golf in less than 30 minutes.
In his 612 holes, Ben finished with 95 birdies and five eagles. His worst round was an 82 and he had multiple rounds in the 60s. Of his 33+ rounds, 12 of them were of par or better.
We've got a link where you can donate to Ben's cause at the Big Red Bar.
For a par four hole, it takes Ben just a minute and 30 seconds to complete. You can see hole #454 from start-to-finish to get an idea of how crazy this is in the video link above.
Ben's hips began giving out on him by 2pm. It's a pain he hasn't experienced before during this marathon event. Around 4:45, Ben's high octane 4-wheeler of a golf cart had to gas up. Ben used the time to stretch his body during this 5-minute break.
Ben now works for his family's business in Plymouth and says the switch from a golf pro to a regular job allowed him to get some sleep Thursday night as opposed to none in previous years.
The sleep worked. Despite it being a much longer course, Ben got off to a great start. He picked up two eagles and four birdies in his first two rounds with scores of 75 and 72. He finished up his 3rd round by 6:50am, meaning 54 holes were in the books in just an hour and 20 minutes. By 11:30am---six hours in---Ben was through 252 holes!
He reached 450 holes by 5:10pm and 500 holes by 6:25pm. Hole #600 came just after 9pm.