Northern Ireland

NI golfer Joe Rooney scores two holes-in-one

Joe Rooney at County Armagh Golf Club
Image caption Rising star Joe Rooney hopes to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional golfer

An Armagh teenager has scored an amazing two holes-in-one in the same round of golf.

Joe Rooney, 16, managed the feat at a tournament at County Armagh Golf Club on Tuesday.

It's hard to calculate the odds of hitting two holes-in-one but experts agree it is extremely rare.

Image copyright Joe Rooney
Image caption Joe said he went "crazy" after hitting his second hole-in-one of the round

But even though the feat helped him finish his round three under par, it was not enough to win him the Open event.

Joe, who has a handicap of two, told the BBC it was the first time he had ever hit a hole-in-one, let alone two.

"On the third hole I hit a great shot," he said.

"The ball bounced in the middle of the green, then spun out to the left and went straight in."

Image caption Sixteen year-old Joe finished the round at County Armagh Golf Club three under par

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

"The green is elevated a bit, but I hit the ball well - it only bounced once.

"You can't see the pin very well from the seventh, but it smacked the bottom of it and you just knew by the sound that it had gone in.

"We just all went crazy and began hugging each other and jumping around."

Image caption His remarkable feat of two holes-in-one was not enough to win the tournament

Joe said his achievement was almost too good to be true.

"I got a bit nervous after that - I bogied the 10th and 11th, but birdied the 12th, finishing three under par," he said.

Joe hopes to follow in the footsteps of other Northern Ireland golf stars like Rory McIlroy.

"Obviously it's every young golfer's dream to be professional, but I know it's very hard, so right now I'm just working hard and focusing on tournaments," he said.

An earlier version of this story suggested that the odds of hitting two holes-in-one in the same round are 67 million to one. Experts disagree on what the odds might be; one mathematician suggested a figure of approximately a million to one, while other experts in sport science suggested that due to the number of variables and the lack of historical data (which, in itself, may indicate the huge odds against it), it was almost impossible to make a prediction.

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