Stunning hole-in-one by New Zealand 6-year-old

By Matt Smith

Anahera Koni met her idol Lydia Ko this year, but now she is one up on the golfing superstar.

Anahera, 6, nailed a hole-in-one on the fifth hole at Island Park Golf Club on Saturday and nearly repeated the feat later that day for good measure.

Playing off the children's tees at the Waldronville course, Anahera opted for a three-wood over her usual hybrid option on the 85m par 3 fifth hole due to slightly damp conditions.

''It hit just before the green, rolled up and was on a really good line from what we could see, but we didn't want to get too excited,'' her father, Dan Koni, said.

Anahera was playing with two women during the club day. They suggested she look past the green after they could not see the ball when they reached the putting surface.

''I said, 'you might want to check the hole first'. She went over there, looked in there, looked at us and said 'it's in the hole','' Dan Koni said.

''She didn't know what to do or how to respond, but her eyes just lit up straight away.''

Koni said Anahera was excited but found the attention throughout the rest of the day a ''little bit overwhelming'' as she was the recipient of many high-fives from club members.

Anahera returned to the hole in the second half of her 18-hole round on the nine-hole course and changed to her hybrid club because the greens were drying out.

''It was about two feet [60cm] away if not a little bit closer,'' Koni said.

''We got up there and it was that close and it was a formality to tap it in, so she got a birdie the second time around.''

Anahera may have stored a piece of information about Ko in the back of her mind after meeting her at a training session in Christchurch in February.

She asked Ko if she had ever hit a hole-in-one, to which Ko responded in the negative.

Ko eventually hit her first ace at the Rio Olympics in August, aged 19, so Anahera has beaten her idol to one milestone by 13 years.

The St Bernadette's School pupil was 6 years and 292 days old when she shot her ace, not too far behind the Guinness world record for the youngest female with an ace, set by Soona Lee-Tolley aged 5 years and 103 days in New York in July 2007.

The good news for Koni was that he did not have to shout the bar as is tradition after a hole-in-one. Instead, the club shouted Anahera whatever she liked.

So what does a 6-year-old ask for?

''A drink and a pie,'' Anahera said.

- Otago Daily Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 12 Dec 2016 01:44:21 Processing Time: 644ms