If you were given 500 golf balls and a fairly straightforward par 3 for the entire day, do you think you could make a hole-in-one?
That was the challenge laid before South African and European Tour player Brandon Stone ahead of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. Like Edoardo Molinari the year prior in Italy, Stone had 500 shots to make an ace on a 184-yard par 3. Stone used an 8-iron throughout the day, trying to navigate his ball into the cup for an ace.
The odds of an average amateur golfer making a hole-in-one are approximately 1 in 12,500 (though the European Tour claims it's 1 in 100,000), but those odds improve to 1 in 2,500 for a European Tour pro. In concept, then, Stone should have a fair chance of pulling off the feat. Considering he has six aces to his name, Stone should feel more comfortable than a player with no lifetime holes-in-one, even if it's on his favorite course at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.
The emotional journey he goes on with each close call is fascinating to watch, and the frustration he feels as a top player in the world is dramatic.
In the end, Stone doesn't make the ace, and he rips out a primal scream at dusk when the 500th and final shot doesn't fall.