Two Australian pranksters were able to enter a North Korean golf tournament simply by pretending to be professional golfers representing Australia, even if they actually terrible golfers.
Morgan Ruig and Evan Shay, both 28, were in nearby Beijing, China on a polo trip when they caught wind of the North Korean Golf Open in Pyongyang. As a joke, the two Brisbane locals decided to apply via email claiming to be members of the Australian golf team, according to Daily Mail. To their surprise, they were granted permission to visit North Korea to play.
Shay, who is a director of a construction company, told Daily Mail Australia:
“We just emailed them really. I don’t think they’re massive on the internet over there so I don’t think they had many opportunities to research. We didn’t think we’d actually be accepted.”
Shay and Ruig, donning green blazers with Australian logos on them, were able to convince North Korean organizers that they had low handicaps.
Things seemed to go well for the two until they actually started playing golf — a sport they barely play for leisure — and landed a ball in the river. Shay explained:
“Everyone thought we were actually pretty legit. We didn’t do well.
“Our caddy said we brought great shame upon our families.”
In the end, the pair scored the second lowest score of the game. Ruig explained:
“I hit 120 which apparently is not very good, and she [the caddie] thought it would bring great shame on my family.”
Shay added about the one person they were able to beat:
“I think it was the Nepalese ambassador’s 15-year-old daughter.”
Besides the golf tournament, Ruig and Shay were also taken on a tour of the city’s national monuments with North Korean chaperones accompanying them everywhere they went on their five-day trip. Ruig also told The Courier-Mail:
“We were very nervous handing our passports over at the border. There are stories of people not coming home.”
The North Korean Golf Open had 85 competitors this year at the Pyongyang Golf complex, the only golf course in North Korea.
Kim Jong-Il reportedly opened the course in 1987 where it is said he shot 11 hole-in-ones playing golf for the first time in his life, achieving a score of what would be a world record 38 under par.