Anton Karlsson experienced an extraordinary day’s golf in the opening round of the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts as the Swede finished with a hole in one for a five under 66, having come within inches of an ace on two other occasions.
The 22 year old teed off at the 11th hole on the opening day of his debut at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club and his first close shave came at the 16th hole, where the ball rolled agonisingly past the pin before settling five feet from the pin for an easy birdie.
Karlsson came even closer again at the fourth hole, where his tee shot ended up within inches of the cup before, incredibly, he finally sealed a first professional hole in one at the tenth hole, his last, to move to within one shot of the early lead in Aviemore.
“It was pretty special,” said the player from just outside Stockholm. “It was just a six iron, I hit it really well and held it against the wind and it just dropped into the hole. I could see it from the tee.
“I was pretty close a couple of times today. I almost made one on the 16th too and tapped in for birdie, then on the fourth it looked like it was going in too and I made another birdie too. My playing partner said to me jokingly, ‘don’t worry, you’re going to make one today’, so it was pretty crazy that one ended up at home in the end.
“It was a pretty good round otherwise too so it was nice to finish up well. That’s the first one I’ve had one in competition but I’ve had two before this. My irons have been good the last couple of weeks and today they were obviously really good – to play the par threes in four under is very nice.
“My season has been alright so far, it’s hard to have many expectations coming into a new tour. I made most of the cuts but haven’t been up there at the weekend, I’ll get there though.”