Scott Gomez might not have to spend the rest of the summer driving his little sister's old Nissan.
The Anchorage hockey star fired a hole-in-one in his own charity golf tournament Thursday to win a new $50,000 SUV.
Gomez, a 32-year-old center for the Montreal Canadiens, aced the No. 6 hole at Eagleglen Golf Course, one of four holes that promised a new car from Continental Motors as a reward for a hole-in-one.
"The guy wins a car at his own tournament. Can you believe it?" said Continental Motors owner Marten Martensen.
"I'm still in shock," he said.
The shot was the talk of the tournament, especially among other pro hockey players competing, guys like Joey Crabb and Tim Wallace of Anchorage. "We can't stop laughing," Gomez said.
Gomez, who as the star of the one-day tournament played with a couple of foursomes Thursday, had just joined a group of military men from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson when he made his big shot.
"One of them said, 'Let's see if anyone can hit the green,' '' Gomez said.
Using a six-iron, Gomez hit the ball straight off the tee. "It kept rolling and then it disappeared," he said.
Martensen said Continental Motors has offered similar prizes for more than a decade and has sponsored holes in the Gomez tournament for four years. This is the first time anyone has ever aced one of the sponsored holes, he said.
Although this is certainly a case of the rich getting richer -- Gomez is entering the sixth season of a seven-year, $51.5 million contract -- few in Anchorage are likely to complain.
Unassuming, approachable and happy-go-lucky, Gomez has legions of fans here. He starred for East High and the Alaska All-Stars before becoming Alaska's first NHL star. He has played for two Stanley Cup champions, and both times he shared his day with the Stanley Cup trophy with thousands of fans at the Delaney Park Strip. When the NHL locked out players for the 2004-05 season, Gomez turned down a chance to play for big money in Europe and instead came home and played for the Alaska Aces of the ECHL.
Gomez said he isn't a particularly good golfer, but the hole-in-one gave him temporary delusions of greatness. When his foursome reached the next hole offering a car for an ace, Gomez was visualizing the improbable.
"I thought, 'I'm gonna win two cars.' I really thought I was going to get another one," he said.
But no. His game actually took a nosedive after No. 6, he said, maybe because too much adrenaline was pumping through his body.
Gomez said he isn't sure what will happen with the SUV, an Acura MDX. "The Foundation will get it in some form," he said.
But whether the charity gets the car or a nice fat check might depend on whether Gomez wants to upgrade his summer-time ride.
"My friends say I should keep it," he said, because what he's driving now doesn't quite scream multi-millionaire hockey star.
In Montreal, he said, "a bunch of us are sponsored by BMW," so that's what he drives during the NHL season.
But this summer in Anchorage, where Gomez lives during the brief off-season, he's driving a mid-1990s model Nissan that little sister Natalie used through college.
"I got her a new one for graduating," he said.
Reach Beth Bragg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.