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Sunderland duo defy the odds to win watches

A father and son, from Sunderland, have defied the odds by both scoring a hole-in-one in the same week, at the same golf club.

Ian McConnell, 51, and his son, Matthew McConnell, 22, achieved the holy grail of golf within a six-day period, and were each rewarded with membership of the exclusive BOSS Watches H1 Club and a specially-commissioned, commemorative timepiece.

Ian, who plays off four, scored his ace on the 194-yard, par-three second, while nine-handicapper Matthew holed out at the 173-yard, par-three 14th, both at Whitburn Golf Club.  

Matthew explained: “We were obviously very shocked as a hole-in-one doesn’t happen very often, never mind two in the same week! Personally, it being my first ace, I really wasn’t sure how to react. It was a strange feeling, especially given the fact that it was a blind approach to the green and so I didn't know it had gone in until I got to the hole.

“As my father so kindly put it ‘I don’t know how you got a hole-in-one as you usually struggle to even hit the greens’. I found it very difficult to contest that claim, given that on average I probably hit under 30 per cent of the greens in regulation during a typical round.

“My father’s hole-in-one was ace number five for him, so maybe he has the track record to be able to get away with a comment like that. Each of his aces has been at Whitburn. Maybe he was just born lucky.

“We rarely play together: the father/son combination doesn’t seem to promote good golf.”

The family name is a familiar one at the golf club, with McConnell senior the current treasurer and a former captain. Both have been lifelong members having joined at an early age, albeit decades apart, and have 56 years of membership between them.

Matthew added: “At one time or another, my sister, both my parents, my uncle and all four of my grandparents have been members of the club. There are currently six of us on the books.” 

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