One of the European Tour’s great running bits on social media is the 500 Ball Challenge, where they’ve given Edoardo Molinari and Brandon Stone each 500 balls and all day to make a hole-in-one at a selected par 3.
So far, the players are a combined 0-for-1000. The videos with Molinari and Stone are captivating for so many reasons, but a common thread is the players seem nervously confident at the start, feel encouraged early on, get increasingly frustrated with each additional close call, then come to a moment of despair as they run out of the 500 balls.
And that leads us to the third contestant in the series, multi-time European Tour winner and former European Ryder Cup player Andy Sullivan. The Englishman has fallen down in the Official World Golf Ranking in the last two years, but he has been on a good run of late in European Tour starts.
For this challenge, Sullivan took on a par 3 at London Golf Club measuring 171 yards. And since the past wasn’t on his side, Sullivan was naturally nervous. However, on the first shot, he nearly jarred the ace to give him life — and perhaps unrealistic expectations.
Sullivan hits ball after ball, with so many close calls. Like those before him, he gets frustrated and cusses a lot, and he just can’t believe he can’t make the ace.
So, does Andy Sullivan make the hole-in-one?
SPOILER ALERT COMING
Andy Sullivan does it! On Ball 230, Sullivan hits a great tee shot to the 171-yard hole which lands short of the pin by a few feet, the rolls out and into the cup for the ace. Sullivan celebrates by running and screaming the whole length of the hole to retrieve his ball.
“I don’t care what I do for the rest of the season because that was ridiculous,” Sullivan exclaims.
With the ace, the three pros are now 1-for-1,230 shots, which is better than the odds of a pro golfer making a hole-in-one, which are 2,500-to-1, as well the odds of any golfer making a hole-in-one, which is 12,500-to-1.