Magpie assists golf ball into the hole

By Iain Hyndman -
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Johnny Keating's footy-style golf ball sits right where the magpie left it.
Johnny Keating's footy-style golf ball sits right where the magpie left it.

Forget eagles, albatrosses and even holes-in-one.

Whanganui golfer Johnny Keating has outdone them all after scoring a magpie at the Belmont links on Saturday.

In a driving head wind, the 13 handicapper hit a six iron off the tee on the par three ninth - normally he would've use a nine iron.

Then he and playing partners Andrew Gannon and Darren Wallace could hardly believe their eyes.

"The ball landed on the green stopping about four feet from the hole - not a bad shot, I thought," Keating said.

"Then a bloody magpie picked up my ball three times and dropped it in the hole.

"Strange, but true - then again truth is stranger than fiction and not a beer in sight at that stage.

"I'd found the ball and it was designed just like a small soccer ball with red spots, so maybe that's what attracted the magpie.

"We immediately thought 'hole in one'. I've never had one, so I rang the clubhouse for a ruling.

"It was a 50/50 split among members there, but the rule book says because it was down to an outside influence and that we'd seen it happen it wasn't a hole-in-one."

Basically, according to the rules if we hadn't seen it and wandered down and the ball was in the hole it would have been a hole-in-one.

"But hey, isn't it easier to get a hole-in-one than getting a magpie?"

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