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ZANESVILLE, Ohio -
It was a great way to cap off a long golf career.
Ben Bender, 93, who has been playing golf for 65 years, played his final round at Green Valley in Zanesville, Ohio, last month. He went out in style, scoring his first hole-in-one, the Times Recorder of Zanesville reported.
Plagued by hip bursitis that caused him to cut his round short, Bender used a 5-wood to score an ace at the third hole at Green Valley.
"I'd come close to some hole-in-ones, but this one was level on the green before it curved towards the hole and went in," Bender told the Times Recorder. "I was in awe watching it. I played a few more holes, but my hips were hurting and I had to stop. It seemed the Lord knew this was my last round so he gave me a hole-in-one."
Green Valley manager Steve Galloway said that Bender got off to a rocky start, shooting at least a 7 on the other five holes he played.
"(Ben) shot 8 on 1 and 7 on 2 so you guessed it, a hole-in-one on 3," he said. "What an amazing feat by Ben (in his final round)."
Bender, a former 3-handicapper who has played since he was 28, played six days per week when he lived in Florida.
When he retired, Bender moved back to Zanesville and regularly played Green Valley, the Times Recorder reported.
"I was lucky to play golf this long, but I never expected (a hole-in-one)," Bender told the newspaper. "It was the last time I was able to play, and I think God had a hand in this. I loved the game and hate to give it up, but I can't play forever.”