Blake Wilmore was excited to participate in the Blake Rankin Memorial Golf Tournament on July 26, 2015. The event was in memory of the little brother of one of his best friends from high school. Wilmore and his old childhood friends gathered together to honor Blake Rankin’s brave battle with cancer and to support the memorial fundraiser for high school athletic scholarships that Rankin’s family created, so for Wilmore, this special occasion wasn’t just another golf tournament. Little did he know, this would be a meaningful day for him in more ways than one.
Wilmore had played this course before, and was fairly familiar with it and comfortable there. When he approached the second hole and saw the brand new Ford Escape, he began joking with his foursome about the chance of winning.
“I was talking about the prizes and saying funny things like, ‘I just bought a car, so I don’t really need another one’. I never thought I’d actually win. It was also the closest to the pin hole for another prize, so as a joke I said, ‘Well I’ll just try to put it close to the pin, and if I get a hole in one, I guess I’ll take the car too’.”
Wilmore never could have imagined hitting his first hole in one surrounded by family and friends, let alone on a hole with a major prize. Even after he hit the ball, he recalls not believing it went in.
“My first thought was that it didn’t actually go in, that it went just past the hole but didn’t go in. I was a little shocked still, so we drove down to the pin. I was with some of the wives’ of my good friends from high school, and they were all really excited so they ran out to the hole and started jumping up and down (which you’re not supposed to do on the green!). Then they ran back over and told me it went in and we were all hugging, high-fiving and celebrating.”
Wilmore’s friends and family, were quick to join in on the celebration. “They called some of my other friends and the next thing you know it was instantly on Facebook, so my dad called me before we even teed off the next hole. He used to golf all the time and it was he who got me into it when I was younger. He had never had a hole in one before, and hearing how rarely it happens makes me even more excited and proud of it.”
Wilmore said that while he was not joking when he said that he had just bought a new car, the win still came at the perfect time.
“I bought a Jeep Wrangler before,” explains Wilmore, “and I always kind of wanted one since I live near the sand dunes, but I wanted it as a second car since it’s not very practical and difficult in the winter. So when I bought it, I bought it thinking I would keep it as my primary car until I could afford to buy another car. This is a month before the golf outing, so it was really cool because I can use the Ford Escape as my primary car now, especially in the winter, and I’m also able to share it with my dad.”
Wilmore says that to him, golfing is about having fun, and that is certainly what Candy Ford in Charlotte, MI made possible with their very generous sponsorship. Wilmore would like to thank his friends Brendon and Sarah Rankin and everyone else involved in organizing the tournament.
What a great finish to a great day for a great cause. Congratulations Blake!