Two Australian men managed to bluff their way into an 18-hole international tournament in North Korea by posing as world-class golfers.
Morgan Ruig and Evan Shay, both 28, were on a polo trip in Beijing when they heard about the competition.
They successfully applied to play as the Australian team and wore green blazers bearing the national logo.
The men, who do not play professionally, left North Korea without problems after the event.
The two-day tournament brought 85 participants from around the world to North Korea’s only golf course in Pyongyang.
The Australian pair were chaperoned throughout their five-day trip which included a tour of the capital, where they placed a bouquet at a monument to the country’s leaders.
“We were very nervous handing our passports over at the border. There are stories of people not coming home,” Mr Ruig told the Courier-Mail newspaper.
North Korea’s later leader Kim Jong-il opened Pyongyang golf complex in 1987. It is claimed he shot 11 hole-in-ones on his first attempt at the sport.
Mr Ruig and Mr Shay, who became friends at Brisbane Boys’ College, did not come close to beating the Supreme Leader’s supposed world-record 38 under par.
“I hit 120 and my caddy told me I had bought great shame to my family,” Mr Ruig said.
“We played very poorly… but we met some very interesting people.”
Mr Ruig told Yahoo Sport that officials “thought it was quite funny”, and that they had no problems leaving the country afterwards.
Despite their poor show, he said the whole trip 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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