For most people, a hole-in-one is a euphoric thing, a ticket to 15 minutes of fame. For Brian Butler, it's something more like a sucker punch.
The Boston College golfer was participating in a one-day professional golf tournament when he sunk a hole-in-one to his own surprise. The ace came at the 18th hole of a new par-3 course in Rhode Island, from a distance of 158 yards.
The accomplishment garnered him a $10,000 prize from the tournament's organizers. But Butler was then faced with a decision to make.
The senior-to-be would make himself ineligible to play at the college level if he accepted the money. So, to satisfy NCAA rules, he opted to give the money back.
"I'm not going to give up my last year of college golf for $10,000," Brian Butler said to Golfweek. It's a smart move going by the simple math: $10,000 isn't even half of the value of his golf scholarship, which he would have lost.
Still, every man has his price. Butler was playing in the pro tournament with full awareness that a great performance could earn him a ticket into a tournament qualifier. Should a hole-in-one happen at the qualifier, that $10,000 prize becomes $1 million. Would have forced him to reconsider?
"That," he said, "would probably be a different story."
Butler's 3-over 57 did earn him one of two spots in the main event, which offers a purse of $102,000. Only $25,000 of that goes to the winner, though, so even a win is likely to be turned down in favor of one more season at Boston College.
But only because the NCAA is forcing him to choose.
You know what, though, it could be worse -- much worse. You could be the guy who missed a $1 million hole-in-one by one single inch: