- On its surface, it seemed like a great story
- Now North Korea wants an official apology for the golf prank
Hong Kong (CNN)The headlines were everywhere.
"Pair prank their way into North Korean golf tournament," read Brisbane's Nine News.
"2 Australian men pretended to be pro golfers and faked their way into the North Korean Open," proclaimed SBNation.com
Even Golf Digest fell for it: "Pair of Australian hackers pull ultimate prank by posing as pros to play in North Korea Golf Championship."
Now, a less-than-impressed North Korean government wants the Australian pranksters to apologize.
"We've been told by the travel agent who arranged the trip that North Korea wants us to go back to make an official apology on live TV," Morgan Ruig told the Courier Mail.
"Yeah, no... we won't be doing that any time soon."
"Years of hard labor in a North Korean prison doesn't exactly appeal.''
The awesome story
Morgan Ruig and Evan Shay -- a real estate agent and a builder, respectively -- had just wrapped up a polo event in China when they decided to go out on a limb.
They sent an email to the golf tournament organizers and, to the pair's surprise, it didn't take long to score an invite -- although a little creative wording did help.
"We said we were a couple of Australian golfers. And they wrote back asking if we were the Australian team. And we sort of swerved around that question and thought we'd run with it," Ruig said.
Soon, Ruig and Shay would be gracing the reclusive nation's only course -- which it bills as the world's most exclusive. It's also where late leader Kim Jong Il is said to have made 11 hole-in-ones.
Now the pair just needed to look the part. So they found a tailor in Beijing who made them very official-looking green jackets, complete with an Australian emblem and the inscription "Polo and Golf Grand Slam Tour The Orient 2016" underneath.
It seems everyone thought this plucky duo was the real deal ... until they teed off.
By the end of the 18th, Ruig and Shay had hacked their way to abysmal scores of 120 and 126 respectively. They only finished ahead of the teenage daughter of another country's ambassador.