O’Rourke nails hole-in-one on Challenge Tour season debut

Mark McGowan

Conor O'Rourke (Photo by Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

Mark McGowan

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Naas native Conor O’Rourke is making his first start of the season on the Challenge Tour at the NMB Championship at Humewood Golf Club in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and though his level-par opening round leaves him with work to do if he’s to see weekend action, there was a very clear bright spark in his round.

Playing the par-3 sixth hole, O’Rourke’s tee shot was inch perfect and found the bottom of the cup for a memorable hole-in-one – his first ever in a competitive round.

“It was playing 130 yards and the wind was into and off the right,” he explained. “I hit a smooth 9-iron and it was on the perfect line, landed about two feet behind the hole and spun back in. It was very much needed.”

So, the drinks are on O’Rourke tonight, but as he joked, it won’t do much damage to the bank account.

“Yeah, I’ll be getting the drinks at dinner alright,” he said, “but it’ll be three coke zeros,” evidence that the modern professional golfer takes his craft a little more seriously than past generations where a hole-in-one could see a player lose money for the week even if they take a healthy pay cheque at the end of it.

While it might be O’Rourke’s first competitive hole-in-one, it’s not his first ever. “I had two at home,” he said, “but having my first one in a competition round was nice.”

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