NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP – Playing golf for 28 years made a Neptune man hit it big time last month.
Douglas P. Stewart, who lives at the Villas at Jumping Brook, won a 2013 Lexus ES350, worth $43,306, by hitting a hole in one during a golf tournament at the Jumping Book Country Club in Neptune on Mon., June 17.
The car was provided by Ray Catena Lexus of Oakhurst and Freehold.
“I am just overwhelmed. It’s just an achievement that not many people attain,” Stewart said.
Ironically, Stewart mentioned to a friend that he wanted a replacement for his current Lexus ES300, that he bought from Ray Catena 11 years ago, just before he made his winning shot.
“It still drives like day one and I called my granddaughter, who turns 17 next month, and told her that she will be getting the old car,” he said.
Stewart, 66, retired in 1999 from New Jersey Turnpike Authority. He said this is his second hole in one after playing golf for 28 years. He said that the par three, 199-yard third hole at Jumping Brook is considered one of the toughest holes at the 18-hole course.
“Last time I hit a hole in one was in 1985 and all I got was a certificate. This time I won the ultimate prize,” he said.
This is the first year that Ray Catena participated in the Jumping Brook tournament, which was originally called the Avon Historical Society Golf Classic but had its name changed two years ago to the Russ Hinman Memorial Golf Classic. Hinman was also a former Turnpike Authority employee and a close friend of Stewart’s.
The tournament had a shotgun start, which means that golfers each started off their game at a different hole on the course.
“I started at the fourth hole so the third hole was actually my 18th hole and last shot of the day. As the ball went in the hole, a spotter sitting in a chair at the green witnessed the ball going in hole. He then got off his chair, raised his right arm, and then called Catena right away to report the hole in one,” he said.
Stewart and his wife, Bonnie, have lived in Neptune since 2002 and became members of the Jumping Brook Country Club just two months ago.