The golf gods giveth, and the golf gods taketh away.
No one knows that better than World Cup competitor Stuart Manley of Wales.
Manley, 34, got off to a spectacular start in the third round, birdieing the par-4 first and par-5 second holes at Royal Melbourne, then holing an 8-iron on the 176-yard, par-3 third hole for an ace. That lifted him to within two shots of the lead, but that's also when his luck took a turn for the worse.
First, Manley went to the back of the third tee and patted the roof of the Mercedes sedan that is offered as a prize for a hole-in-one on the hole.
Only one problem: The Mercedes is a prize only for aces made in the final round.
Missing out on a car was nothing compared with what befell Manley on the par-4 fourth hole, though. He made an 11. Eleven. Double hockey sticks. Among the "highlights": two chips that failed to make it far enough up the incline of the green and came rolling back toward Manley.
Manley, ranked No. 346 in the world, is known for getting down almost prone on the greens, Camilo Villegas-style, to line up putts. He reacquired his European Tour card last week at the qualifier in Spain. At this World Cup, he is one of eight players competing as an individual. He was going to play as a teammate to Jamie Donaldson, but Donaldson withdrew with a bad back.