This man had already hit two holes-in-one by the seventh hole

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 25, 2019 17:57

An amateur golfer has defied odds of 67 million to one to hit two holes-in-one in the same round.

Most people go through life without ever hitting a hole-in-one but grandfather John Rourke had achieved the feat twice by the seventh hole of his round at Haydock Park Golf Club in Merseyside.

He said he was stunned when he hit his first of the round on his second hole, having gone looking for his ball before playing partner Colin Harrison found it in the hole.

The 68-year-old, who plays off an 18 handicap, shocked everyone when he did it again five holes later.

Incredibly, Rourke and Harrison only finished second in the competition – albeit by a single stroke – despite the extraordinary achievement.

According to the National Hole in One Registry, the odds of achieving two in the same round are 67,000,000/1.

Retired fabrication manager Rourke said he will be keeping the ball and scorecard for the round in a ‘special place’.

He said: “In over 30 years of playing I’ve hit two holes-in-one, but never in the same round and only in friendly knockabouts.

“Everybody was shaking my hand and congratulating me.”

Rourke has been a member at the golf club, one of the country’s oldest, with his wife Pat for more than 30 years, playing up to four times a week.

His feat came in the club’s weekly winter competition, which saw more than 100 members pair up in a ‘better ball’ format, in which the better of the pair’s shot scores is used for each hole.

He said: “It was a shotgun start, so I started on the 17th hole with my partner. On the 18th hole, which was our second hole, I hit the first hole in one.

“From there, we went round to the first hole and I hit the second on the fourth hole, so I did two in five holes.”

On a misty morning, John chose to attack the par-three 183-yard 18th hole with a driver.

Describing the day, he said: “It was a very cold morning, so I wanted to get my swing going. I’m not a particularly long hitter, just steady.

“When I hit it I thought it was all over the pin, though maybe a little bit long.

“When we went down to look for it I was looking at the back of the green when my partner said ‘it’s here, it’s in the hole’.”

On the par-three 110-yard fourth hole, Mr Rourke took out his nine iron.

He said: “When I hit it I knew it was a good shot, but Colin just said ‘you’ve done it again’.

“You can’t see the fourth green from the tee because there’s a bunker in the way, but when we went down there it was in the hole.

“You could say I was quite happy.

“I don’t normally do the lottery, but I did after that. Sadly, I must have used up all my luck as I didn’t win anything.”

Back at the clubhouse, John bought two bottles of whisky for fellow members and toasted the amazing double.

Haydock Park Golf Club is an 18-hole course located close to Junction 23 of the M6 and M62 motorways. The course was re-designed by James Braid and is one of the oldest golf clubs in England, dating back to 1877.

Stephen Nicholson, business manager at Haydock Park Golf Club, said: “It’s a really special achievement and John has rightly been the talk of the club.

“A hole-in-one is what we all dream of, so to achieve two in one round is quite a remarkable achievement and John will go down in Haydock Park Golf Club folklore.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 25, 2019 17:57
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