Albatross helps Mckenzie soar to fame in US

Rowlands Castle's Billy Mckenzie. Picture: Andy Griffin
Rowlands Castle's Billy Mckenzie. Picture: Andy Griffin
Waterlooville duo John Hay, left, and Rob Dennett. Picture: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Waterlooville duo power to national title

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Billy Mckenzie is already making waves across the pond after playing his part in an amazing double feat.

The Rowlands Castle golfer, who is on a scholarship at William Woods University in Missouri, recorded an albatross – three under par on one hole – as he hit an amazing two on a par five.

The youngster managed the shot of a lifetime on the 509-yard 17th hole at Tanglewood Golf Club in Fulton after he holed his second shot from more than 200 yards away.

Although, he didn’t know the ball had actually gone in until he walked up to the green.

But amid mind-boggling odds, British team-mate Julian Taylor, from York, then incredibly matched the achievement on the same hole less than 30 minutes later in the WWU Fall Invitational.

Mckenzie explained: ‘It was the best shot of my life. I couldn’t have hit it any better.

‘It’s a par five so I’m looking at a birdie opportunity, even though it was into the wind.

‘I was still thinking “I could make a birdie here”.

‘I had just come off a bogey on the last hole, so I was quite annoyed and gave it a bit extra on the tee.

‘Then with my second shot, I just had to carry the water and let the wind bring it down.

‘I couldn’t see it go in but I was walking up there thinking “oh my God, I think I’ve just made an albatross”.

‘But I wasn’t 100-per-cent until I walked up to the cup and saw it.’

Mckenzie, who helped Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Channel Islands qualify for the English County Finals back in July, was also runner-up in the West of England Amateur Strokeplay Championship at Saunton, Devon, back in April.

But after finishing his studies at South Downs College this year, he embarked on his American adventure in a bid to follow players of the calibre of Luke Donald and Paul Casey through the US collegiate system into the elite of world golf.

Packages of his favourite biscuits sent from his family have maintained his focus and helped him avoid homesickness – but he has already spoken of his enjoyment at the experience.

Aside from making strides with his golf, Mckenzie has also been educating his US counterparts on the virtues of British comedy by showing them episodes of The Inbetweeners.

But he has also appeared on TV himself on KOMU channel eight – a TV news network for the state – after his extraordinary shot.

The three-under-par bonus hole helped Mckenzie to third place in the event, while Taylor took top spot.