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Hole-in-One highlights Centaur Classic Golf Tournament

It was a foursome that had traveled up from the Westbrook-area together.

On the way to the Quinnatisset Country Club in Thompson, Rick Atkinson and his three friends had discussed holes-in-one on a golf course.

That’s because Lance Abbott, one of those riding up with Atkinson, had a dream the night before that he was going to get one at The Woodstock Academy’s 10th annual Centaur Classic Golf Tournament.

The dream turned out to be somewhat prophetic with the exception that it was Atkinson and not Abbott who found the hole from the tee box on the par-3 15th hole at Quinnatisset.

“This is my first one,” Atkinson said proudly, standing next to the flag on the 15th hole.

Normally, a hole-in-one is a costly accomplishment for the person who puts it in the hole.

This one turned out to be a rewarding one as Atkinson became the proud recipient of a 1-year lease on a Ford Explorer from Putnam Ford Mercury.

“It took a while to get there,” Atkinson said with a laugh of his shot. “I hit it off to the right a little bit but I have a natural little hook and it bounced off the hill, we saw it going across the green, and then we kind of lost it.”

Those observing the hole for Woodstock Academy didn’t lose sight of it, however.

“It’s the first one that I ever witnessed and it was by accident,” said Brad Favreau, who along with Sean Saucier, organized the event. “I was just driving around, checking on stuff and had stopped at the hole. (Atkinson) hit the shot, it hit the bank perfectly and rolled down and in it goes. They could hear us yelling all the way over to the 18th hole. It was pretty cool.”

It was the first hole-in-one made in the history of the event.

In all, 148 golfers took part in the tournament.

“It all starts with the weather, that’s the key, and it was a beautiful day. It was warm, but not the hottest day of the week. That was a great turnout and everyone left with a good taste in their mouth. Everyone had a good time. It was a great day,” Favreau said.

The group that had the most fun was the quartet of Eric and Luke Whittenburg, Luke Milanese and Rick Dion who finished with a 53, 19 under par.

“Unbelievable,” Favreau said of the winning score.

The foursome eagled a couple of holes, birdied the others and had one par, that came at the first hole.

They didn’t win by much.

George Amendar, Jason Gerum, Steve Keller, and Scott Johndrow finished one stroke back.

Steve Bordua was closest to the pin on the seventh hole; Steve Whitley had the longest drive for the men, Lynn Converse had the longest drive among the women.

“Arguably, it’s my favorite day of the year. It’s certainly a lot of work and a lot of time goes into it but to see it be successful, which it has been, is worth every minute,” Favreau said.

The proceeds from the tournament will benefit Woodstock Academy Athletics.