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- American golfer
SWBRgolf - by Tom Bevan A British part-timer has been hailed the world's most in-form golfer after he smashed ELEVEN holes-in-one in just six months - having never managed one before. Talented Neil Watts, 40, began his incredible feat by sinking his first hole in one back in June despite playing the game from the age of five. In just over five months he has now hit TEN more - including one on a Par 4 - beating combined odds of several billion to one. Neil has now set his sights on the lifetime world record that currently stands at 18. And he has been hailed for outperforming global stars of the game including the likes of Tiger Woods who only struck four during his entire career. The final hole in one was even recorded by local news television cameras who came to film him about his incredible run. Neil, of Kingswood, Bristol, said: "The captain at the club was looking at the online percentages of getting a hole in one after I hit the first. It was 12,500 to one. Then progressing to 11 it is in the billions to one. "People keep asking how I got it. I haven't changed any habits or part of my diet but as every golfer will say, you just aim for the same place, the flag, and hope it goes where you want it to go. "And it has just kept going straight in the hole. "It is unbelievable. It is like winning the lottery really. The shock of when you do it the first couple of times was immense. "You can not believe it has happened. But as it goes on, people just kept asking - have you got one today? And the answer was often yes. "It got a bit embarrassing and no-one could believe it kept happening. It was a feeling you can not describe." Neil's achievements currently adorn the hall of frame at the Tracy Park Club in Wick, South Glos., with eight of his holes in one so far added. The others are in the process and he said it had been a couple of years since anyone at the club had achieved even one. He added: "Looking at the list this does not happen very often. ''There is one guy at the club who I know has got a couple in his lifetime. But I had not heard of anyone this year that has. "I've got eight up there at the moment - the others will follow soon." Neil, a former binman who now runs a social club with his wife Sam, said he started playing golf from the age of five when his dad would chuck balls down for him to hit. He joined Tracy Park as a junior member aged eight and would play in competitions and events. By the age of 14 he was playing off a ten handicap and reduced this to five by the time he left the junior ranks behind. Work commitments meant he had to take a break but he started playing again seven years ago and has now got his handicap down to 2.5. He added: "I normally play twice a week, sometimes on a Wednesday and always on a Saturday. I would describe myself as a very strong amateur. "I had been close before and had one hit the side of the pin and the side of the hole but had never had a hole in one til June this year. Then two weeks later I got another in the club championships in a par 3. "That was how it started and it became a bit of a blitz. Every two weeks or so it was another one and it just carried on like that. "It got to the stage that I was up to ten a couple of weeks ago and ITV came and filmed me. I hit another one while I was being filmed. They couldn't believe it." Neil said six of his holes in one have come on the Par 3 14th hole of what is known as the Crown course at his club. But he also hit ones on the other course, known as The Cromwell, including a Par 4 at the 15th hole and on holes 12 and 16, which are Par 3s. He added: "For the Par 4 I just drove at the green. It is around 280 yards but dropped in the hole. "It is now 11 and apart from the one on ITV they have all been in competitions and general events." His achievements have seen him labelled the most in-form golfer in the world due to his current streak and said seeing his name in reports alongside the likes of Tiger Woods was a very proud but surreal moment. He added: "It makes you feel wonderful to see comparisons with the likes of Tiger Woods. "To find out he only got four holes in one in his lifetime is like you have one up on them. "Even though I am not a professional I am only three shots away from being classed as one so from that point of view it makes you feel good that you are nearby that level. "When I was younger I always wanted to make it as a pro but I married at 18 and my lifestyle changed and took me away from it. "I do play these holes a hell of a lot so I know how to play them and what yardage to use. "I plan to grasp my five minutes of fame and brief moment in the limelight." And Neil says he hope he isn't done yet. He added: "I would love to get more and at the moment it always seems I can do it again. I will never say I am not going to have another one. "The world record is 18 in a lifetime so I can now set my sights on that. "What I have done so far I achieved in just five months and one week. It was happening every other week so who knows? "If I can continue at the rate I am going then maybe I can break it." Neil said he honoured the old tradition of buying every other golfer playing at the time of his hole in ones a drink in the club house the first two times - but it has now become too expensive and he makes a quick dash for the exit. He added: "The first two holes were very costly for me. "Ever since then I have had to be pretty sharpish when getting back to my car after my round." Tracy Park men's team captain David Baldock paid tribute to Neil's achievements. He said: "It is amazing, everyone is here just trying to look it up and Google everything to find what kind of odds this must be. I think we might need NASA's help with that if I am honest. "We are just so proud of Neil here, he has pretty much been a member at the club for all of his life so it is amazing to see him doing so well." ENDS