North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il’s death was noted on Twitter as an epic loss to golf, with hundreds recalling the Stalinist state media’s reports of Kim’s 11 holes-in-one in a single round in 1994.
Reports hailed Kim’s 38-under par 34 over 18 holes at the 7,700-yard Pyongyang Golf Course in his first try at golf, a feat watched purportedly by 17 security guards protecting the man hailed as “Dear Leader.”
Kim, who died on Saturday of a heart attack at age 69, was 52 at the time he purportedly fired a round where birdie was his worst score on any hole.
Twitter skeptics wondered whether or not Kim might have tried to surpass such stars as Tiger Woods or reigning World No. 1 Luke Donald of England had he truly gone 21 strokes below best score from a US PGA golfer.
“Look at it this way: With Kim Jong Il dying, everybody will be moving up one spot in the World Golf Rankings,” noted Dan Daly in a Twitter posting.
Others pondered the golf showdowns that never happened.
“Kim Jong-il’s passing means LukeDonald is now indisputably golf’s world no.1,” Tweeted John Mackay. “Congrats Luke. Just a shame it wasn’t settled on the course.”
“Golf world mourns the passing of the prodigious world leader never to win a major,” Tweeted Shaun Hinds.
Even Paddy Power tweeted that “The world has lost a golfing legend, we’re 1,000,000/1 for any PGA player to beat Kim Jong Il’s record round of 38 under.”
Some saw hope for Kim from beyond the grave, Rick Reilly posting, “Just in from North Korean state news agency: Kim Jong Il’s corpse shoots 54, incl 6 aces.”
Nick Howell pondered what might have been, saying his record round “Could’ve been even better if his ball hadn’t stuck under the windmill on the eleventh.”
Alistair Barrie was shocked there was not more mention on golf websites, noting, “No one seems remotely concerned that the world’s greatest golfer has died.”
“With passing of Kim Jong Il, sports world may have lost greatest golfer of all time,” tweeted HuffPost Sports.
“The golf world mourns the loss of Kim Jong-Il. Routinely scored 3 or 4 aces every round according to state run media, so it must be true,” wrote Len Berman.
Ray Ratto had his suspicions, tweeting “don’t fully buy this Kim Jong-Il golf story. Surely the Callaway people would have sent him a hat, a shoulder patch or something.”
In a timely post with Christmas approaching, Chris Scoular said, “The North Korean equivalent of finding out Santa isnt real must be finding out Kim Jong Il didnt invent the hamburger or shoot a 38 in golf.”