Elliot Saltman sinks second hole in one at Celtic Manor

Elliot Saltman
Saltman's final round of 69 gave him a total of three under for the tournament

Elliot Saltman can look forward to a stay in the presidential suite at Celtic Manor after sinking his second hole in one at the Wales Open.

The Scot's seven-iron shot bounced once before landing in the 17th hole on Sunday, matching his feat at the same hole on Thursday with an eight iron.

"I'm just overwhelmed with it - amazing," said the 29-year-old.

Saltman, who finished tied for 12th place, was competing in only his fifth event since returning from a short ban.

The European Tour suspended him for three months in January for marking his ball incorrectly during the first round of the Russian Challenge Cup in 2010.

His double hole in one at the par three was the first such achievement on the circuit since Eamonn Darcy's at the 1991 Mediterranean Open.

The tournament sponsors were offering a new car to any competitor who struck a hole in one at the 13th.

But Saltman was far from despondent at missing out on that prize, for instead, on top of his £29,000 prize money, he will be able to enjoy two magnums of champagne and a night in the plush suite at the resort whose guests have included Beyonce and Tony Blair.

"Thirteen has been an unlucky number for me," he said.

"That 17th hole I've only ever seen in the Ryder Cup. Seventeen is my lucky number now - my last hole in one was on the 17th at Craigielaw [his home club]."

Prior to his hole in one at Craigielaw three years ago when he was playing with his brother, Saltman had registered two other holes in one - one in competition as a youngster and another when practising.

Asked about how he had been received by fellow players since his return from suspension, Saltman said: "Every week is getting better.

"A lot's been said, but at the end of the day what happens happens. There have been a lot of players who have been brilliant and welcomed me back.

"I don't live in the past - I live for the present and future and right now I'm feeling absolutely brilliant.

"I'm out here to do a job and concentrate on one shot at a time."

And he added: "I'm delighted to be back. It's been a long slog if you like, more mental than anything else.

"Emotions running high and low, but sometimes you think these things happen for the best and especially to come here in a big event and finish one-three on Thursday and one-four on Sunday.

"Things happen for a reason, I think."

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