Irish golfer Jason McCarthy was entitled to enjoy a night on the tiles after his maiden hole-in-one secured him a trip to the 2020 Ryder Cup and the chance to shoot for $1m.
McCarthy, 36, a tiler from Castleisland, Co Kerry, scored his ace on the 166m seventh hole of Vale do Lobo’s Ocean course, in Portugal, while competing in the Million Dollar Hole in One (MDHIO) Challenge.
MDHIO’s popular par-three challenge allows competitors to win a selection of golf-related prizes: from balls to pitch-mark repairers for landing on the green, while a hole-in-one at one of the 40 associated courses across Europe earns a once-in-a-lifetime trip and the chance to shoot for a $1m jackpot.
McCarthy, who paid just €10 to participate in the challenge, is still coming to terms with the news he is to fly out to the USA for the 2020 Ryder Cup at the renowned Whistling Straits, in Wisconsin.
He said: “I was really shocked when the ball dropped. It was hard to believe. And what I’ve achieved in doing it hasn’t really sunk in yet. I still can’t believe it. To win a trip to the Ryder Cup and to shoot for $1m is really exciting, a great opportunity – a once-in-a-lifetime experience, really.”
MDHIO, which has been running since 1990 in the USA and since 2000 in Europe, has grown steadily in popularity, with more than 50,000 people each year trying their luck at various par-three holes on courses across Portugal, mainland Spain, Mallorca and the UK. More than 60 golfers have achieved their ace while playing MDHIO in Europe, while more than twice that number missed out by not entering and, subsequently, acing the hole.
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