TIGER WOODS eat your heart out!
Three handicapper James Bell achieved something on the golf course that the great Tiger, winner of 14 majors, has yet to accomplish.
Eagle-eyed James, a member of Seapoint GC, was the toast of the famed Heritage club in Killenard, when recording an albatross, one of the rarest feats in golf, at the 300yard 11th hole recently.
James from Oldbridge, Donore, was playing in a singles competition at the Co Laois course when he hit the perfect tee shot with a driver at the par four, onto the green before the ball rolled into the hole.
It was also his first ever hole-in-one and helped him to finish second in the competition. 'It was just amazing to see it go in,' James said.
It was a million-to-one shot, there has never been a hole in one at a par four at The Heritage since the Seve Ballesteros designed course was opened in 2003.
' The group ahead of us had just replaced the flag and were departing from the green. They started cheering when the ball went into the hole.'
One of James' playing partners was a 65year-old, who has played for 40 years and it was the first time he had ever witnessed an albatross.
' The man was marking my card and I think he was even more excited than I was, James continued. 'It has been acknowledged by The Heritage and I'm going down in a couple of weeks for a presentation. I join a handful of people in Ireland who have ever had a hole-in-one on a par four.'
Playing golf since he was 15 James has represented Seapoint at senior Cup level and is something of an all-rounder as far as sport is concerned having once been on the books of Bohemians soccer club and he has also lined out with St Mary's, Donore, and St Patrick's Stamullen. Brother Gareth was on the Meath minor All-Ireland winning team in 1992 while his father Michael is a regular umpire with referee Cormac Reilly and was on duty for the Dublin versus Laois All-Ireland quarter final at Croke Park last Saturday evening.
After his feat on the golf course there was the traditional celebration with the drinks on James in the clubhouse afterwards. ' It left a bit of a hole in my pocket all right, I had to buy a few drinks but I could hardly complain about that,' James concluded.