You’ll probably have to watch it twice to believe what happened Saturday night during a promotional win-a-car putting challenge at the Ole Miss-Alabama basketball game in Oxford.
Mary Ann Wakefield had to.
“I woke up this morning and had to watch it again to see if it was real,” she says.
Her Rebels may have lost, but the 86-year-old Oxford grandmother who rarely even wins at “Bingo” won a brand new Nissan Altima after burying a jaw-dropping, 94-foot putt on the hardwood that sent the Pavilion into hysterics and still has Mary Ann — “please just call me Mary Ann” — pinching herself.
“I mean, I was the only person who signed up,” she says.
The miracle happened during the first timeout after halftime.
“I asked before we went out on the court if I could place the ball myself, and he said ‘you have to putt it from where we put the ball.'”
They put it exactly where she wanted. A minute later, so did she.
“I just lined up my putter, closed my eyes and said ‘Lord, it’s up to you,’ and I hit it.”
Hotty Toddy, Golf Almighty.
“I’ll tell you what, that’s looking good,” the arena’s mic man announced as the ball rolled past half-court. “That’s looking really good.”
Maybe for good reason.
Though she hasn’t played in years, Mary Ann is no stranger to the green, learning her way around the links after retiring from a career in television 30 years ago. The name of the Oxford apartment complex she calls home? The Links. Yes, there’s a golf course.
“But my long game was better than my short game,” she says. “I could drive a long ball, but my short game always killed me.”
You wouldn’t have thought so Saturday night.
Video of the current leading contender for putt of the year quickly went viral on social media.
“My daughter says it has more than a million Twitters,” she says.
That was Sunday morning, a few million Twitters ago.
“I’m about ready to lie down and take a nap,” she laughs. “I’m still shaking.”