Victorian Daniel Beckmann hopes to use a mammoth $100,000 hole-in-one prize to fund a second-go at a professional career after his first was derailed by a four-year cancer battle.
Beckmann snared the windfall on the opening day of the Portsea Pro-Am on Tuesday, his prize twice the size of the total $50,000 prize pool on offer for the event which features a host of AFL stars including Melbourne premiership captain Max Gawn.
While he could be up for some jewellery for his girlfriend, Beckmann said the cash could be crucial as he embarks on a second go at professional golf after battle with T cell Lymphoblastic lymphoma, a form of cancer which had just a 16 per cent survival rate.
Beckmann, now 35, spent two full years in the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne having treatment and was in and out regularly for another two.
He has been in remission for over three years now and after spending two years re-finding his game earned playing status on the PGA Tour of Australasia through qualifying school.
But he was playing at Portsea because a lack of funds prevented him from going to Q-school for the Asian Tour, something that, at least for now, may not be an issue.
“It’s definitely going to make the next few years a bit easier playing out here,” Beckmann said after his hole-in-one.
“Playing out here, all you really think about is how am I going to fund my next event or my next three events. How am I going to fly to this event? How much is my hire car going to cost? You think about that stuff every day so this will make all of that a lot easier to deal with.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. And I don’t think it will for a while. Not until I see the number in my bank account.
“I don’t think I’ll really process it until that point.”
Beckman, who carded a one-under 71 on the opening day,said he couldn’t even see his “perfect, flat, drawing 6-iron” at the 164-metre par-3 seventh, hole at Portsea Golf Club go in.
But even after he realised he’d nailed the hole-in-one, there was a bigger shock when his prize was revealed.
“I had no idea there was even a prize when I hit the shot. I had no idea there was anything up for grabs,” he told the PGA Tour of Australia website.
“One of my playing partners said to me, ‘That’s gone in!’
“He came up and gave me a hug and I was like, ‘Really? Did it really go in?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, that’s 100 grand. You’ve just won a hundred grand.’
“Once I found out that it actually did go in, I got really shaky.”
The ace was the sixth in Beckmann’s career and his first in a professional event.