By Evin Priest

FINALLY – the golf world has found two athletes willing to travel to dangerous places to represent their country.

Actually, this is perhaps one of the best pranks ever pulled off in our sport – by two blokes who barely tee it up socially.

While the Zika virus may have prevented the world’s best golfers from playing at the Rio 2016 Olympics, two Brisbane larrikins didn’t think twice about the the wrath of North Korea when fooling country officials into believing they were members of the Australian national golf team in order to tee it up in the sixth annual North Korean Open.

Image: Lupine Travel Facebook

As the Courier Mail reports, Morgan Ruig and Evan Shay, both 28, were on a polo trip in Beijing when the duo entered a two-day international golfing tournament in North Korea, by email.

The event was held at Pyongyang Golf complex, North Korea’s only golf course, approximately 27km from capital city Pyongyang.

One of the perks of playing in the 85-strong field of international competitors off low handicaps was that Ruig and Shay were taken on official sightseeing trips around Pyongyang. They were photographed standing at the Mansudae Grand Monument statues of Kim Jong-Un and Kim Jong-Il with bouquets of flowers.

 “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,” Mr Shay, director of Nodad Design And Construct, told the Nine Network.

Image: Lupine Travel Facebook
Morgan Ruig on the putting green (dark green jumper). Image: Lupine Travel Facebook

Ruig and Shay claim it was initially a prank but when formalities proceeded, they decided to go along with it. So how were they found out?

“I hit 120 and my caddy told me I had bought great shame to my family,” Morgan said.

“We didn’t (play) well,” Shay said with a laugh. “Everyone thought we were actually pretty legit.” Or that was, until one of them “put the ball in the river”.

Morgan told the Courier Mail the pair had hesitations about the trip. “We were very nervous handing our passports over at the border. There are stories of people not coming home,” Morgan said.

Former Supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the late Kim Jong-iL, claimed he once hit 11 hole-in-ones on his first ever attempt at golf, with a world record 38-under par.