A Canadian golfer was rewarded this week for having a close encounter with a meteorite - so close that it whizzed by his ear.

Orville Delong, a 57-year-old maintenance worker from Cambridge, Ontario, told Reuters on Friday he was golfing on July 12 when he heard the "eerie sound" of a meteorite the size of a baseball as it shot by his left ear.The meteorite was estimated to be moving at about 125 miles per hour.

"At first we thought somebody was shooting at us," he said.

The University of Toronto, which wanted to study the meteorite, rewarded Delong with a free season's golf pass, worth about $615 in U.S. dollars, at a Kitchener, Ontario, golf club.

The meteorite probably originated in an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, said University of Toronto geology professor John Rucklidge.

Delong is no stranger to near-disaster on the links. In 1977 he was struck by lightning on a golf course as he ran for cover under an oak tree during a thunderstorm.

"I'm having trouble getting partners to play with," he joked.