Retired Erie attorney Dennis Williams said his son-in-law, Jeffrey Barton, is not much of a golfer. But Barton, a former San Diego Padres minor leaguer who married Leah Barton seven years ago, was not even playing in a golf outing at PAA-Ko Ridge Golf Club near Albuquerque, N.M. on Aug. 22, when his name was pulled out of a hat to take a swing for $1 million with five other players who shot well enough to qualify for the chance from 150 yards away.
Barton was in a clubhouse bar with his boss from a hospital machinery distributor when his name was picked, and did not have his clubs with him. So he had to borrow a left-handed 8-iron.
After the first four players hit the green, the fifth guy hit it into the water, and, according to Williams, Barton was relieved.
“He said ‘I can’t embarrass myself any more than that guy’, then his boss handed him a beer and told him to chug it, then swing away,” Wiliams said. “You can see that the guy taking the video was trying to follow the ball in the air, then it lands on the green and starts rolling toward the hole. The people are cheering for it to go in, and everybody goes crazy when it does. It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen.”
Barton earned an annuity of $25,000 a year for 40 years.
The brief video of the moment has naturally gone viral.
– Bob Jarzomski