Promising Kiwi golfer in driver's seat after hitting hole in one

Mon, Feb 6
Kit Bittle after hitting his hole in one.

New Zealand professional golfer Kit Bittle has won a new BMW iX car worth more than $170,000 after hitting a hole in one in the TPS Murray River tournament on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.

Bittle, 24, hit the perfect shot on the third hole of the Cobram Barooga Golf Club during his final round yesterday. He used a 5 iron on the 177 metre par 3.

It was his first ever hole in one and he wasn’t sure whether the car – which was near the tee box – was up for grabs until afterwards.

“The wind was in off the left I think,” he said. “I jokingly said to the boys before I hit it that if ever there was a time to go for the flag it was now. I didn’t hit it that great but as soon as it landed it had a chance and it went in quite nicely.

“It was a pretty special way to start the day, especially with the car there as well.

“I knew BMW were donating $250 for every birdie that went in, so I wasn’t sure if that was the only thing on offer. I wasn’t 100 per cent sure if the car was. I was hopeful, since it was there.”

The promising Bittle said he drives a Mazda Atenza in Auckland, but “we’ll see how much it will cost to get [the new car] back to New Zealand and that could change".

Bittle finished the tournament in 53rd place after a final round of 73. Sarah Jane Smith, a Victoria-born, Florida-based professional, was crowned champion after shooting a 6-under-par final round of 65 to win by five shots.

“Not the greatest week of golf but one shot made it all very special,” Bittle said.