Three days after winning The Open Championship qualifier at Sunningdale England's James Morrison had something else to celebrate, as a hole-in-one at The Irish Open earned him a BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé.
The 27 year old, a former winner of the Madeira Islands Open, aced Royal Portrush’s 14th hole – known as ‘Calamity Corner’ – en route to a four under par round of 68 that left him three behind clubhouse leader Jeev Milkha Singh.
“It’s funny, I walked to the tee and walked by the car and said to myself: ‘Why can’t it be me today?’ And then my five iron has gone straight in the hole. It was an amazing feeling – my first hole-in-one as a pro – so I’m over the moon.
“It was a good five iron in a crosswind. Sometimes you make a hole-in-one which is a bit of a thin, but this was flush at the flag, and one bounce straight in the hole – it was lovely.”
The prize was particularly welcome as Morrison was on the lookout for a new car – and was considering buying one off fellow European Tour pro and friend Andrew Marshall, after he won the same model during last week’s BMW International Open for an ace on the 17th hole at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof.
“He [Marshall] said to me: ‘You can have what you want, you name it, and you can take it’,” added Morrison.
“I said, I might talk to you about that. Now when I see him in the clubhouse, I can tell him he can keep his car – I’ve got my own!
“I’m not going to sell it. I was talking to my wife the other week about wanting to get another car. We already have a BMW X6 to start with for the family wagon, and then I wanted a new car for me.”
Morrison’s life has certainly been on an upward trajectory of late – since leading the BMW PGA Championship at the halfway stage, he has become a father for the first time and won Monday’s Open Championship qualifier at Sunningdale.
On the arrival of son Finley, he added: “Two weeks yesterday he was born – he’s doing great, and Mum is doing great.
“I’m not sleeping massively well, but they are both getting theirs. It’s a very different experience and a humbling one, too.
“I think it’s definitely changed my mindset and changed my views on life, and views on how to act out on the golf course. So I think it’s really helped.”
Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who like Morrison qualified for The Open on Monday, produced the second ace of the round, holing-in-one at the 189 yard sixth with a perfect four iron to leap to three under for the round.
And while his reward might have been somewhat more modest than that of Morrison's - awarded 16 year old bottle of Bushmills Whiskey by Darryl McNally, Distilling Operations Manager at The Old Bushmills Distillery - Donaldson can console himself in the knowledge he shot the 31st hole in one in Irish Open history, and his first ever in tournament play.