Newcastle fan Paul McIntyre not only shot his first hole-in-one while on holiday in Portugal, but also met his hero and secured a trip to either the 2020 Ryder Cup or 2021 Masters, where he could win $1m.
It was a day to remember for the 65-year-old Geordie, who now lives in Wraysbury, Staines, as he aced the 150m, 13th hole of Pestana Vila Sol, while competing in the Million Dollar Hole in One (MDHIO) challenge … with his driver!
McIntyre said he’d never even seen someone shoot a hole-in-one, let alone get one himself, as he earned a spot in the MDHIO final, where he will fly out to the USA for either the 2020 Ryder Cup at the renowned Whistling Straits, in Wisconsin, or the 2021 Masters at Augusta National.
MDHIO’s popular par-three challenge allows competitors to win a selection of golf-related prizes: from balls to pitch-mark repairers for landing on the green, while a hole-in-one at one of the 40 associated courses across Europe earns a once-in-a-lifetime trip and the chance to shoot for a $1m jackpot.
But, if the trip and chance to win a life-changing amount of money wasn’t enough, McIntyre also got to meet a legend of his beloved football club, as MDHIO ambassador Alan Shearer was also out in Portugal at the same time.
McIntyre, who runs his own property maintenance company and plays off a handicap of 22, was understandably overwhelmed with all the opportunities that came his way following his ace.
He said: “As I was using a driver, I only tapped it with a half-swing; it landed well and my mates and the girls on the tee started to get excited. As we drove to the green and the buggy got closer, we couldn’t see the ball and someone said ‘it must be a hole-in-one’. We couldn’t believe it; we were all jumping around like kids – an unbelievable feeling.
“I’m still over the moon and it hasn’t really sunk in. The fact that we got to meet Alan Shearer topped it all off, it’s always been a dream of mine to meet him and he said he will never forget the guy who hit a par-three hole-in-one with a driver!
“I haven’t even had chance to think about the trip to America yet, as I’m still so happy about the rest of it, but obviously it’s a fantastic opportunity and wouldn’t it be nice if I can repeat the feat and win the jackpot?”
MDHIO, which has been running since 1990 in the USA and since 2000 in Europe, has grown steadily in popularity, with more than 50,000 people each year trying their luck at various par-three holes on courses across Portugal, mainland Spain and Mallorca.
- To discover where MDHIO can be played visit www.mdhio.net/golf-courses.