Golfer Plunges into Sinkhole on Course

A friend helped rescue the St. Louis-area golfer Mark Mihal

A casual game on the golf course turned scary for a St. Louis-area golfer Mark Mihal when he suddenly plunged through the earth into an 18-foot sinkhole, NBC News reported.

Mihal noticed an unusual depression on the 14th hole at Annbriar Golf Club in southern Illinois and told his friends how difficult it would be to have to hit out of it, according to The Associated Press.

He walked over to take a closer look when the ground underneath him swiftly gave in.

“When I was in in the air going down I thought that was probably it, because I didn’t know where I was going to land,” Mihal said Wednesday on NBC’s "Today" show.

The 43-year-old mortgage broker landed in the mud in a cave-like area, much bigger that the opening above, according to NBC’s John Yang. A golf course employee brought a ladder and put it down the hole, but Mihal had dislocated his shoulder and couldn't climb up on his own.

One of Mihal’s friends, Ed Magaletta, who saw him disappear down what looked like a “tear in a carpet,” climbed down the ladder.

"I asked if anything was broken, was he bleeding," Magaletta said. "He said, no, no, quit asking me questions, get me out of here."

Magaletta made a sling out of his jacket for Mihal’s shoulder and tied a rope around him so others could pull him out.

During the resuce, both men, according to Yang, were thinking about a Florida man who was swallowed by a sinkhole while asleep in his bedroom earlier this month. His body was never found.

"I feel lucky just to come out of it with a shoulder injury, falling that far and not knowing what I was going to hit," Mihal, told the AP before heading off to learn whether he'll need surgery. "It was absolutely crazy."

Despite the ordeal, Mihal says, he looks forward to his next golf game.

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