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Amateur golfer so close to winning car with Saunton hole in one

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

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THE FINE margins between success and failure were sickeningly obvious for Shaun Sanders at the North Devon Sports Foundation golf day.

Shaun missed out on a new Mini Cooper when his tee shot on the 17th at Saunton's East Course bounced out of the hole.

As part of their sponsorship of the event, Westerly BMW had offered the £18,000 car to anyone who landed a hole in one.

Shaun said: "It was on the 17th hole on the East Course, 210 yards into the wind.

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"I got my driver out and just had a nice, soft swing.

"It hit the green, rolled into the hole and bounced out again. I was pretty sick."

Shaun (pictured), who celebrated his 31st birthday on Monday, has kept a reminder of the elusive prize, which was parked up by the first tee. The cruel words of Bullseye presenter Jim Bowen – 'have a look at what you could have won' – spring to mind.

"I have still got a photo of the car on my phone," said Shaun. "It would have been a lovely birthday present."

As a member of Willingcott Valley, Shaun has played golf for five years and never previously come close to a hole in one.

At the golf day, he was part of the Devon Boys team with Matthew Brend, James Middlemass and Iwan Thomas, the former Olympic athlete.

The 24-handicapper who works at Saunton Sands Hotel is still struggling to play down his tale of cruel luck.

"The adrenalin was still going through me on the course," he said.

"And it was one of those things that was the talk of the evening. Every time I go out, the story gets told."

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