Sports

Golf tournament was a family affair

Nick Bahl of Langley tees off. - Cynthia Woolbright
Nick Bahl of Langley tees off.
— image credit: Cynthia Woolbright

By CYNTHIA WOOLBRIGHT

Staff intern

It was serious fun on the greens of Holmes Harbor Golf Course Sunday, as 94 golfers plus a gallery of friends, family and community supporters came out for the Matt Moss Benefit Golf Tournament.

Matt Moss is the Whidbey News-Times’ sports editor, and he has been at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle since July 10 when he broke his fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae in a swimming pool accident.

It was some of his closest friends who pulled Moss from the pool and called 911 that evening, and Sunday was just a continuation of the support that hasn’t left Moss’s bedside since.

In addition to the 94 people who played in the four-person team scramble-style tournament, 58 hole sponsors came forward to help out. From entry fees and hole sponsorships, a total of $7,128 was raised to help defer medical costs for Moss.

“It wouldn’t matter if there were 94 golfers here today or 4, the community and friends have all taken Matt on as their own,” said Moss’ aunt Jan McNeely Sunday.

A putting competition also helped raise funds for Moss. It became the spectator highlight of the day as family and friends heckled each other for a good cause and a chance at a power saw. Wallets were emptied as putt after putt, shots were missed, came close, skimmed the edge, didn’t come close or were blocked by the pyramid obstacle on the course whose sign requested people to “Putt for Moss.” And they did. The putting green itself raised $672 for the Matt Moss Recovery Fund.

At the end of the day, Brion Lubach walked away with the putting competition bragging rights. Jeff Hanson had a lucky day on the course, as he swung for a hole-in-one on the second hole at Holmes Harbor.

It was a day for family, too. Whether they were related by blood or not, the people scrambling about the Holmes Harbor Golf Course Sunday were all a part of Moss’ extended family and close-knit circle of friends. Ball retrievers for the day, Sara Hanson, 4, and Kaitlyn Hanson, 7, giggled endlessly as they ran about fetching missed putt shots, jumping about with tireless energy as they worked all day at the tournament for the guy they call “Mossy.”

Always one to be there for his friends, Moss’s aunt Jan McNeely said of the generosity and support shown, “In a way this has been a real gift, because now he knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end.”

The first place team for the day consisted of Brent Hezel, Brion Lubach, Todd Lubach and Bob “The Glass Guy” who came in 13 under with a team score of 51. All of the prize winning teams gave back their cash rewards so they could go toward the fund-raising efforts as well.

It wasn’t about winning or losing. It wasn’t a matter of how much money was raised at the end of the day, even though the more the better — because this was a day for Matt.

Even the losing team had fun, walking away with the coveted shirts for the day, “I lost at the Matt Moss Golf Tourney 2002.”

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