Painter Nearest, Hole-In-One Becomes Family Affair - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/18/08 - Tyler

Painter Nearest, Hole-In-One Becomes Family Affair

More than a week of  qualifying came down to a single swing of the golf club today, at the UT Tyler Suddenlink Patriot Hole-In-One Finals. Fifty-four qualifiers got a swing at the hole, but schoolteacher Bobby Painter wound up closest to the pin to take home first prize.

"It was exciting," Painter said. "Iit was just fun to be a part of all of this. It would have been nice for it to roll another six inches, but it's just been fun."

No one made a hole in one on any of the holes.

The UT Tyler Patriot Hole-In-One Tyler tradition, but for some families, it's also a family tradition.

Mike Cearley qualified for the finals nineteen straight times, and he's bringing his family with him.

"My son, he's competing," Cearley said, "and my daughter and her husband."

Walter Treat is another regular, he's been a part of Sunday's competition for nine straight years and he's gotten his family involved, also.

"Now once you do it once, you've got to do it every year. I got lucky and won the tires one year, and now I've got my son in there, too."

It's more than just the hope of the big payday that keeps these families coming back out to qualify.

"First off, it's a good cause," Treat said. "And just being out with your family and doing things with your kids, it's hard to do nowdays."

"Some people do things, some people hunt," Cearley said. "This is what we do, we like to play golf. We look forward to it every year."

Six of the final fifty-four belong to these two families. And one of these days, somebody's going to wind up with the big prize.

"Yeah, between me and the Cearley's," Treat laughed, "we battle it out pretty good."

Reid kerr can be reached at

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