Written by Staff Writer
It’s like being a nutmeg bush, giving birth to orange blossom, blooming green in winter and swarming with purple flowers in the spring.
Australian golfer Jack Ramsay pulled a name-dusting move from his European swing against his Japanese opponent at the Melbourne International in the early hours of Monday morning and, in doing so, became the oldest man to hole in an eagle at the men’s Tour Championship — or the world’s third-oldest ace.
The 109-year-old club member from the Victorian city of Bendigo hit a golf ball out of a bunker on the 173-yard par four fourth hole at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Victoria.
It’s the oldest hole-in-one ever reported at a European Tour event, in terms of ages (98.9 years), according to British media.
Five players behind the player recorded the longest drives that day at 335 yards.
“When I moved to Australia from England in 1932, I made a pledge to play golf for the rest of my life — now look at me,” Ramsay told Golf.com on the day of the hole-in-one.
In the day’s second event, Ramsay recorded a birdie to tie the age record set by Englishman Tony Jacklin at the 1965 British Open, aged 110 years, five months, 11 days, reports the European Tour.
Back in the spring of 1914, Ramsay’s father was drafted into the British Army.
“So he enlisted in England, he came to Australia and said my eight-year-old son Jack would carry our two golf bags.”
Ramsay followed in his father’s footsteps at the age of 15 and played locally on the Victorian Amateur tour.
Despite not earning a penny in fees — instead he worked in an insurance office — the teenaged golfer still convinced himself the sport was just for fun.
“I did my apprenticeship, but when I got back home after winning the Victorian Amateur again and again — twice — my father wouldn’t let me quit playing,” said Ramsay, according to Golf.com.
“He said you should have a job and pay off your debts. Then when I retired and finally lost interest in golf my father turned around and said, ‘Why don’t you throw a charity tee-off charity to raise money for your son’s charities?’”
This strategy appears to have worked.
Ramsay, who was born in 1910, has raised more than $2 million in honor of his two sons — Darren, 84, who’s battling bowel cancer, and Michael, 72, who’s in remission after a prolonged battle with cancer.
He and his wife Margaret, who died in 2007, also donated the $75,000 prize money to a charity that aids underprivileged children.