Graeme Storm’s stroke of genius came in the third round of the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre GC in Switzerland. The Englishman aced the eleventh hole, a 217-yard par three, to get his hands on a thrilling Hole-in-One Award: BMW’s plug-in hybrid sports car, the BMW i8.
“It was an incredible feeling,” said Storm, who had a hole-in-one earlier in the season in Morocco. “To win a car is absolutely magnificent, especially as I had to sell mine because we couldn’t afford to have two cars anymore.”
36-year-old Storm, whose last victory on the European Tour came back in 2007, did enjoy a little help from Lady Luck with his hole-in-one. His ball landed just off the front of the green, but then got a kick to the left that took it straight towards the hole, into which it fell obligingly. Storm could barely contain his joy at winning the BMW i8. “I got a member’s bounce off the bank,” said Storm. “But I’ve been here a few times so I’ve probably just about earned it.” He ultimately came up just short of winning the tournament. Storm ended the Omega European Masters on -18, tied with American David Lipsky, but then lost out on the first play-off hole.
This is the second time this season that BMW has presented the keys of its pioneering new sports car to a player on the European Tour. In June, Storm’s compatriot James Heath was also the proud recipient of a BMW i8, having aced the 16th hole of the BMW International Open at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof.
The BMW i8 heralds a new era and is set to revolutionise its class. It is the first sports car with the consumption and emission values of a compact car. The combination of electric engine and a powerful petrol engine forms the basis for maximum performance with minimal consumption. With its plug-in hybrid system, captivating design, gullwing doors and innovations like the intelligent lightweight construction and laser light technology, the BMW i8 is one of the most spectacular and pioneering cars BMW has ever built.
This is the sixth time the keys to the Hole-in-One car have been handed over to a new owner. Before Storm and Heath it was another Englishman who left with a new set of wheels: Andrew Marshall won a BMW 640i Gran Coupé in 2012. French players have produced a stroke of genius on two occasions since the tournament was held for the first time 26 years ago. In 2010 Jean-François Lucquin was rewarded with a BMW 535i Limousine, following in the footsteps of his compatriot Raphaël Jacquelin, who received the key for a BMW Z8. The first Hole-in-One Award, a BMW 325i Cabrio, was won by American Jay Townsend at only the third BMW International Open back in 1991.