TODAY

TODAY   |  March 13, 2013

Golfer plunges into sinkhole on course

St. Louis-area golfer Mark Mihal was enjoying a casual game with friends, when he suddenly fell through the earth, into an 18-foot deep sinkhole where he remained for 20 minutes before he could be rescued. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> here's savannah.

>>> a golfer from missouri is recovering after encountering a hazard on the course nobody could have expected. john yang has the story.

>> reporter: golfers usually hit the links looking for a hole in one. look at this picture. mark myhall ended up the one in the hole. a sink hole surrounded by his stunned golfing buddies.

>> i had 20 minutes to hang on. it was more about a surviving, trying to stay calm and not move.

>> reporter: it happened at the ann briar golf course outside st. louis. they were in the middle of the 14th fairway when the ground suddenly gave way.

>> hank said, tell mark to get out of the way. i said, hey, mark -- and i saw him disappear.

>> reporter: disappear what looked like a tear in the carpet.

>> when i was going down i thought that was it. i didn't know where i would land.

>> reporter: he landed 18 feet under ground in a cave-like area bigger than the opening above. within minutes a ladder was put down the hole. mylar in pain from a dislocated shoulder couldn't climb up.

>> i asked if he could move his fingers and toes, if anything was broken, was he bleeding. he said, no, no. quit asking me questions, get me out of here.

>> reporter: in the men's mind the sink hole in florida that swallowed up a man in his bed, a man whose body hasn't been found. they made a sling for his shoulder and tied a rope around him so otherses could pull him out. with the happy ending myhall's wife said it reminds her from " space jam ." for now myhall is happy to be alive. he's looking forward to getting back on the links but hopes never to play another hole like this one. john yang , nbc news, chicago.