Sports

Magic Ro-ONE-Y!

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Magic Ro-ONE-Y! thumbnailCounty Armagh Golf Club Captain, Richard Stewart, makes a special presentation to 16-year-old Joe Rooney, who scored back-to-back holes-in-one in the recent Holmes and Doran Surveyors sponsored Open competition.

AN Armagh teenager has become something of a celebrity after achieving an incredible feat by scoring an amazing two holes-in-one - in the same round of golf!

Joe Rooney defied odds estimated to be around 67 million to one for an amateur golfer, during the Open Stroke tournament at County Armagh Golf Club last Tuesday.

Despite, the sporting phenomenon helping him finish his round three under par, it was not enough to win Joe the Open event.

The 16-year-old, who has a handicap of two, aced the third and seventh holes, making it one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of the club.

The young Kilburn Park man told the Ulster Gazette, he was "pretty excited, but not overly at the start".

"I'd been expecting a hole-in-one at some point, but after the second one, I was very excited," recalled Joe.

"It was a very good feeling to have two in one round.

"In the third hole, I hit 9-iron into the middle of the green and it spun left and went straight into the hole.

"I played on and was four under par at the seventh hole.

"The seventh green is elevated, so you can't see the hole.

"I had a really good pitching wedge; the best ever in fact.

"It bounced once and hit the pin and I just knew it was in by the sound.

"Philip Kelly and Lee Campbell, who are both good golfers were jumping about and we were all hugging each other and just couldn't believe it." Joe, who has been playing golf since he was nine-years-old, said he only started taking the sport seriously about two years ago.

"I'm thinking of pursuing a career as a professional golfer," he revealed.

"I know it's very hard, so right now I'm just working hard and focusing on tournaments." And, not surprisingly, Joe would like one day to follow in the footsteps of other Northern Ireland golfing stars, such as Rory McIlroy.

"I've a long way to go to be as good as him though!" he added.

After having a few days away from the golf course, Joe returned to the green over the weekend.

"I'm back practicing now today (Sunday) as I've the Irish Under 16s this week and I've had a very busy week with media interviews," he told the Gazette.

The Irish Under 16s starts at Rockmount Golf Club on Wednesday and Joe is aiming for further success.

And, with his GCSE results also due this week, the St Patrick's Grammar School student is hoping for a double celebration.

To mark Joe's achievement, County Armagh Golf Club presented the teenager with a prize on Saturday evening.

"I got a body warmer top with an Armagh Golf Club logo on it, which was a really nice gesture," added Joe.

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