The only things that stood between Marsha Imrie and $1 million Sunday was 175 yards, a strong eastern wind and not knowing one iota about golf.
"I don't even know if she knows who Tiger Woods is," said friend Frank Metcalf, chuckling quietly as Imrie stood on the green of Empire Golf Course practicing her swing.
Imrie, from Napa Valley, had bagged a diamond straight flush during the Silver Dollar Car Classic's Poker Run. Along with her winning cards immortalized on a plague and a $100 bill, Imrie was given the shot of a lifetime. To shoot for a hole-in-one. If the shot made it in the hole, $1 million was hers.
She was concentrating. Onlookers were holding their breath. Imrie swings -- and misses. She swings again -- and misses again. And again, and again, and again. On the sixth swing, the club connects with the ball and zooms about 20 feet before landing unceremoniously in a marsh. The group collectively exhales.
"Well let's get your million dollar ball honey, we can put it with the plaque," said her husband, Gene Imrie.
"Actually, I didn't know where it was supposed to aim," Imrie admitted afterward. "I knew I wasn't going to make it, so it didn't really matter." Metcalf said that morning, Imrie was complaining she never wins anything. "Look at her now," he said. "She won herself a chance at a mill."
Imrie and her husband were with friends Metcalf and his son Billy. The group was enjoying the weekend festivities of the Silver Dollar Car Classic.
For the Imries, this was their first visit to the Carson City car show.
"We go to Hot August Nights every year, but this year we decided to come to Carson City. It's a smaller and friendlier show," she said.
With the dream of a million bucks crushed in an instant, Imrie's spirits were high. But the suggestion of taking her $100 bill and playing Megabucks didn't appeal to her much.
"Nope, not gonna do it," she said, smiling.
"She can buy Gene another $32 Harley Davidson shirt," Metcalf said.
Gene smiled widely. He seemed to like that idea.