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College Buddies Trick Kim Jong Un Into Believing They’re World-Class Golfers

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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Two Australian tourists with abysmal golf games decided to mix things up while traveling in Beijing and scam their way into a North Korean golf tournament.

Morgan Ruig and Evan Shay, 28-year-old Brisbane natives, proudly represented Australia at the North Korean Amateur Golf Championships despite having only a limited grasp of the game, reports the Courier Mail.

The pair was playing in a polo tournament in Beijing when they heard about the golf tournament. Curious, they decided to apply. They led the organizers to believe they were members of the Australian national team.

“They didn’t check,” Ruig told reporters.

“We just emailed them. I don’t think they’re massive on the internet over there. I don’t think they had many opportunities to research,” Shay explained to the Daily Mail, “We didn’t think we’d actually be accepted.”

After receiving acceptance, the duo headed off to North Korea. They even prepared green blazers with official team logos for the trip.

“Initially, we just said we were Australian golfers. They said, ‘You’re the Australian team,’ and we just sort of didn’t say no,” Ruig said.

The two-day tournament was held at the Pyongyang Golf Complex, the North’s only golf course and the place where Kim Jong-il reportedly shattered world records with 11 hole-in-ones and a score of 38 under par during his first ever game of golf.

“Everyone thought we were actually pretty legit,” Shay said. “But, they quickly realized we weren’t after the first tee-off,” Ruig added.

“We didn’t do well,” Shay explained, commenting that they shot the ball into a river.

In response to Ruig’s ridiculously high score of 120, his caddy told him that his poor performance had brought great shame to his family.

“We played very poorly … but we met some very interesting people,” he noted.

Surprisingly, they didn’t come in last; rather, they were second and third to last. They reportedly beat the Nepalese ambassador’s 15-year-old daughter.

The trip to the reclusive hermit kingdom was a bold move for the two young men, who have been friends since college.

“We were very nervous handing our passports over at the border. There are stories of people not coming home,” Ruig told reporters. “It’s a place where you tread lightly but if you go off the beaten track they don’t muck about and lock you up.”

All in all, though, the two men had a good time. “It was character building. I wouldn’t recommend it to a light-hearted traveller. It was pretty hard core but it was an amazing experience,” Ruig explained.

The following video shows Ruig and Shay’s golf shenanigans in North Korea. Their caddies can be seen laughing in the background at their failures.

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