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Repentant thieves return stolen golf ball haul

Conscience-stricken golf bandits in Benidorm, Spain, have handed back many of the 12,000 practice balls they stole in June, together with an anonymous note saying, "we're sorry."

Repentant thieves return stolen golf ball haul
The practice balls were returned while police and club staff were on the trail of the thieves. Photo: Flickr/Tony.Gonzalez

The 12,000-ball haul, worth around €10,000, was lifted from Las Rejas Golf Club in Benidorm, Spain, on the night of June 25th.

A club statement described how staff arriving the following morning found a "completely broken" lock on the metal box in which the balls were kept. 

Despite reporting the crime to the police, there was no sign of the missing balls until last Sunday when club members spotted that "there were some men selling balls identical to those stolen" in the nearby municipality of Polop de La Marina, Alicante.

The distinctive yellow balls were marked with the black stamp of the Srixon Volvo brand, according to the Huffington Post.

National Police in Benidorm followed the lead and informed their local counterparts in Polop.

Club staff also headed to the area to find out "who had the balls and was selling them" and to tell the illegal vendors that they would be prosecuted for the theft.

But on Wednesday morning, to their amazement, they found the club's car park and access ramp full of bags of golf balls.

Attached was a note that read: "We apologize. We're sorry for what we did. We're returning the balls to you. Anonymous."

The club noted that not all the 12,000 balls had been returned but that there were "enough".

                                                                                                                                   

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GOLF

Europe beats United States to reclaim Ryder Cup

Europe regained the Ryder Cup from the USA as star man Francesco Molinari became the first-ever European to win all five of his matches with a 4 and 2 victory over Phil Mickelson on Sunday.

Europe beats United States to reclaim Ryder Cup
Italian golfer Francesco Molinari (C) celebrates Europe's win with English golfer Tommy Fleetwood on the final day of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National Course at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Photo:
Ian Poulter's dramatic 2-up win against Dustin Johnson had sent Thomas Bjørn's hosts to a guaranteed 14 points with Henrik Stenson 5-up on Bubba Watson with five to play, before Molinari finished the job.
 
“It's been an incredible week,” said Molinari. “It's been a long week, playing five matches, but you know, again, I 
stepped it up when I had to and you know, that putt on 14 was great. Just amazing.”
 
Jon Rahm had earlier dealt Tiger Woods a fourth loss of the Ryder Cup as Europe weathered an early fightback from the US at Le Golf National.
 
Spanish rookie Rahm won his first Ryder Cup point with a 2 and 1 victory over Woods, the American suffering just his second singles defeat in eight matches in the competition.
 
“To beat Tiger, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, on Sunday, with a pivotal point, I was so aware of it, it's the best feeling of my life,” said the 23-year-old Rahm.
 
Fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia became the leading points-scorer in Ryder Cup history with his 2 and 1 win over 
American Rickie Fowler. The 38-year-old, a controversial wildcard pick by Bjørn after a poor season, passed Nick Faldo's previous mark of 25 points, reaching 25.5 since making his debut in 1999.
 
Rahm's triumph came after Denmark's Thorbjørn Olesen, in the seventh match to tee off, powered to an impressive 5 and 4 win over the in-form Jordan Spieth to quell the US team's momentum.
 
Jim Furyk's men had pulled to within a point after claiming 3.5 points from the first four matches on Sunday, with Justin Thomas defeating Rory McIlroy 1-up in the opening clash.
 
A calamitous 18th hole for McIlroy saw the Northern Irishman find the bunker with his tee shot, as well as the water, as Thomas picked up his fourth point of the competition.
 
Paul Casey and Brooks Koepka halved the second match, while Webb Simpson beat Justin Rose 3 and 2 after carding six birdies to put away the Olympic champion on the Albatros course.
 
Tony Finau romped to a 6 and 4 win over fellow rookie Tommy Fleetwood, denying the Englishman the chance to become the first European to win five points from a possible five at the Ryder Cup.