Maybin times it just right for an ace
There was no gold bar waiting for him, but Gareth Maybin was more than happy to strap on an Omega Seamaster after his hole-in-one at the par three fourth hole yesterday.
The Northern Irishman aced the hole with his five-iron to pick up the stylish Aqua Terra timepiece, valued at HK$176,900, which he proudly put on his right wrist.
'I really wanted an Omega watch about two years ago, and I did well in Korea and went and bought one. Now I have two,' said the delighted Maybin, whose first-round 66 saw him begin two shots off the lead.
'I had 199 [yards] and it was a perfect number for my five-iron. It fell about 10 yards short and went in. I saw it all the way and went a bit crazy,' said Maybin on his second hole in one this year.
A couple of years ago, he might have been the proud owner of a gold bar worth more than HK$200,000. Sponsors UBS put up the prize for acing the 12th hole and the winners keep coming - Robert-Jan Derksen in 2005, Liang Wenchong the following year and Simon Griffiths in 2008. UBS then changed the prize to a donation to Operation Santa. Despite the lucky break on the third-toughest hole on the course - last year it claimed 84 bogeys and six doubles - Maybin scrambled home at three-over 73 and for a one-under 139 total at the halfway mark.
'I played poorly. I did well to shoot three over. I have a bit of work ahead,' Maybin said. 'I will try to regroup and play better this weekend.'
A good finish will all but ensure Maybin keeps his European Tour card next season.
'I'm right down the bottom [of the rankings] and I need to do well here to keep my card. But the big positive is I have made the cut, and I have got a watch too. If I can post a couple of good numbers this weekend, it will be great,' Maybin said.