Welsh golfer Stuart Manley went from a hole-in-one to an 11 at Royal Melbourne on Saturday in the third round of the World Cup.
The good part came on the par-3 third when Manley moved into a share of second place with the ace with an 8-iron on the 176-yard hole.
Manley patted the roof of a car after the shot, thinking he had won it, but the car is only available for a hole-in-one during Sunday’s final round. He found out the bad news when he got to the green to pluck his ball out of the hole.
But before he had a chance to see himself on the leaderboard, Manley went from a 1 to double figures on the par-4 fourth. He recovered to shoot a 1-over 72 and was still among the top 10 after three rounds.
”I thought I had won the car, and the adrenalin was really pumping,” Manley said. ”The highest high to the lowest low. I heard some giggles … some laughs” from the crowd.
Manley’s approach on the fourth went into a greenside bunker, and his third shot went off the back of the green. When he chipped back on, his shot rolled off the front of the green and into a gully.
From there, it took him four attempts to get the ball back on the green — it kept rolling back down to his feet — before he three-putted for the 11. He went then from second to a tie for 15th.
Manley, who shot an opening-round 67 and then a 72 on Friday, reacquired his European Tour card for next year at last week’s qualifying tournament in Spain, then made a rushed trip to Australia.
It’s his first time playing at Royal Melbourne; he came here in 2005 in an attempt to get into a tournament, but never got in as a reserve.
The 346th-ranked Manley intended to play in the team event for Wales, but his scheduled partner, Jamie Donaldson, withdrew with a back injury. That forced Manley to play as one of eight individuals in the 60-player field.