From a fountain pen to a BMW car for hole-in-one
South African golfer Jaco van Zyl had scored a hole-in-one 15 times previously. He once got a fountain pen for one of them.
Then he got his 16th hole-in-one of his career at the South Africa Open last month. It more than made up for the virtually no reward he had received for the previous 15.
Van Zyl, 37, hit a four iron on the par three 17th hole in the second round of the South Africa Open which pitched a few metres short of the hole, rolled up to the hole and went in. The prize was a BMW car worth about $170,000.
“It was just one of those perfect shots‚” Van Zyl said with a beaming smile after he completed his round.
“It was 204m into a little breeze off the left‚ with the flag cut back right. As a right-hander it is not ideal to have the breeze off the left.
“I just hit an absolutely pure four-iron, nice and high. The wind drifted a little bit and it looked pretty good coming down. I’m getting on in age and I didn’t see it going in.
“I just saw the crowd go wild and I had mixed emotions because usually the cars are only up for grabs over the weekend. I only got confirmation when I got to the green.’’
And some car it was. The BMW i8 is the company’s flagship sports car and is a technological masterpiece that has a petrol and an electric engine.
Van Zyl recalled some of his previous holes-in-one.
“There was a Dunhill fountain pen for a hole-in-one at the Dunhill a few years ago.
“I also had one at the Olympics a few months ago and at the Nashua at the Wild Coast.”
But he would have happily traded the car for victory in the tournament
“I will trade in 100 BMWs if I can get this trophy‚” Van Zyl said.
That didn’t occur. He ended up finishing 18th but these days is more than happy to drive to golf course.