A man who made his fortune from fishing tackle has discovered a complex cave system underneath the golf course he owns following the opening of a massive sinkhole.
Billionaire Johnny Morris, who has amassed a £3 billion fortune from his Bass Pro Shops, opened the Top of the Rock Golf Course in 2014 but nearly had to close it following the appearance of the hole a year later.
But rather than fill in the hole on the grounds on the Ozarks mountain range in Missouri, the 68-year-old businessman decided to explore.
Discovery: The cave came to light after a sinkhole appeared on the golf course (AP)
Untouched: Morris realised the hole opened up into an intricate network of caves (AP)
The cave enthusiast had previously discovered a cave on his grounds in 1993, which he dubbed ‘John L’s Cave’ - and the sinkhole on the golf course seemed to be part of it.
Water from a pond drained through the hole and a worker near John L’s Cave said he saw a torrent of water pouring down through it.
Morris said: “So I knew there was a connection. And that’s when we started to dig.”
Costly: The fishing tackle magnate is spending money on exploring the cave (AP)
Mystery: It is now known how vast the cave network is (AP)
He discovered tall limestone formations and evidence of a cave network down the now 100ft hole on the course.
But he has no idea just how vast it could be.
He added: “Whether it’s just like a foxhole thing you have to crawl in or whether there’s big caverns, that’s the mystery, and that’s the exciting part of all of this.”
Morris is listed as the 397th wealthiest person in the world and he opened the first of his 98 fishing tackle stores in 1981.
Top pic: AP