NORTH KOREA GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
Two Australian men fooled North Korea by managing to bluff their way into an international tournament in the secretive country.
Morgan Ruig and Evan Shay, both 28, successfully applied to play as the Australian team in the North Korea Golf Championship and wore green blazers bearing the national logo.
"My caddie told me I had bought great shame to my family" - Morgan Ruig
What’s more, the duo – who heard about the competition when on a polo trip in Beijing – don’t play golf to any great standard, as was discovered by North Korean officials when they teed it up on day one of the two-day tournament.
“I hit 120 and my caddie told me I had bought great shame to my family," Ruig told the Brisbane Courier-Mail. “We played very poorly, but we met some very interesting people.”
The tournament was played at Pyongyang Golf Club – the country’s only golf course – where North Korea’s late leader Kim Jong-il is said to have made 11 hole-in-ones in his first attempt at the sport, while he also has a world-record of 38-under-par.
The five-day trip even involved official duties, where the pair got an official tour of Pyongyang and placed a bouquet at a monument to the country’s leaders (above), before they left without an ounce of trouble.
“We were very nervous handing our passports over at the border,” added Ruig. “There are stories of people not coming home.
“It’s a place where you tread lightly but if you go off the beaten track they don’t muck about and lock you up.
"I wouldn’t recommend it to a light-hearted traveller" - Morgan Ruig
“It was character building. I wouldn’t recommend it to a light-hearted traveller. It was pretty hardcore but it was an amazing experience.”
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