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Golfer having a ‘bad day’ finds elderly man stuck in gully near water

Feb 7, 2020, 6:26 PM
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(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A golfer saved an elderly man in his 80s when he heard his cries for help near the seventh hole of the Blackrock Course. The golfer, Adam VanValkenburg, was one of the last golfers of the day, trying to make a 90-yard shot over a hazard.

But VanValkenburg wasn’t having the best golf day.

The seventh hole of the course is a par-4 hole, and requires golfers to hit over lava and water. VanValkenburg hit four balls straight into the lava before giving up altogether.

“I thought, ‘Well I am not going to clear this,’ so instead of getting too frustrated, I just got back into the cart,” VanValkenburg said in an interview with St. George News.

Instead of leaving his expensive golf balls in the lava, VanValkenburg went down to the gully to retrieve them. While he was down there, he heard someone calling for help.

He found an 80-year old man, Kay Bills, who was weak and dizzy. He said he didn’t know how long he had been there or what his phone number was.

VanValkenburg yelled out to his brother who was golfing with him to call 911. The fire department and Gold Cross ambulance arrived to remove him from the area and transport him to the hospital.

His wife later confirmed he had a stroke.

With the sun going down and golfers leaving for the day, it’s likely the man wouldn’t have been found. VanValkenburg said it was lucky he was having such a bad golf day.

“It was a combination of being at the right place at the right time and being a bad golfer,” VanValkenburg said. “I had to be for this moment.”

Bills is still in the hospital, but is expected to recover.

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Golfer having a ‘bad day’ finds elderly man stuck in gully near water