Michael Hernandez ('94), playing for the first time in the annual UTPA Foundation Golf Tournament, shot a hole-in-one that turned into a $10,000 check.
It was a "once-in-a-lifetime" moment for Hernandez, a loan officer for Texas State Bank in McAllen.
"When I took the shot, it looked pretty good," Hernandez said of his prize-winning shot during the April 14 event. "When it hit the green, I thought, 'you know, it's pretty close.' When the witness told me it had gone in, I looked at the sign with the prize money. It was great, just great!"
Hernandez said the windfall couldn't have come at a better time. He and his wife have a four-month-old daughter, Lauren Elizabeth.
"When I called my wife to tell her about the money," Hernandez said, "the first thing she said was, 'We're getting a house, right?'"
So, the Hernandez family is now in the market for a new home.
Rick Villarreal (BA '85) of Farmers Insurance in Edinburg and Paul Beck (BA '90) of Nu-Way Enterprises, also in Edinburg, co-sponsored the hole-in-one prize and served as members of the tournament's organizing committee.
Hernandez, on a two-man team representing Texas State Bank, aced the par-3, 168-yard No. 8 hole at the Tierra Santa Country Club in Weslaco. Witnessing the feat was George Lopez of Harlingen, a student employee of the University Development Center.
A former finance student in the College of Business Administration at UT Pan American, Hernandez is a lifelong resident of Mission and has worked at Texas State Bank for five and a half years.
The University of Texas-Pan American Foundation sponsored the 11th annual UTPA Golf Tournament, which raised about $19,000 for the Greater University Fund. Honorary chair of the event was Roel (Roy) Martinez of McAllen, chair of the Foundation, and tournament chair was Skipper Smith (BA '72) of Edinburg.
Other volunteers serving on the organizing committee were Kevin Kanipe of Gulf Data Products in Harlingen, Phil MacLaird of MacLaird Glass Company, Inc. in Edinburg, and Willie Aguirre of Broadway Hardware in McAllen.