Million Dollar Hole in One (MDHIO) brought the curtain down on its thrilling hole-in-one grand final at the prestigious Golf & Spa Resort Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel as three golfers were given the chance to shoot for a life-changing $1million.

The trio of finalists from across the globe enjoyed an all-expenses paid trip to the stunning mountain setting of Austria to again try for an ace and bag the whopping jackpot on Tuesday (September 12).

None of the three managed the feat, but the Alpine adventure saw former England strike ace Alan Shearer join Marissa L’Estrange, 55, from Brisbane, Australia, Jose Pinto Da Silva, 59, from Lisbon and Merja Salminen from Sipoo, Finland on the 150-yard par-three second hole.

And birthday girl Salminen enjoyed a day to remember during the showdown at the Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel as she celebrated her 55th in style – despite missing out on an anniversary windfall.

Salminen, who runs her own kitchen planning and fitting business, said:

“Winning $1million would have been a brilliant present but even though I didn’t do it the trip has been an amazing experience.

“My husband couldn’t come to Austria but when he called me after the event I told him I didn’t win the million dollars he said ‘oh, I’m so happy as that means you are coming back’. He didn’t think he would see me again! But the resort is a marvellous place with a superb golf course and amazing scenery.”

Three-time Golden Boot winner Shearer, an ambassador for MDHIO’s sister company Million Dollar Club, who netted an impressive 30 goals for his country in just 63 appearances and rattled in a Premier League record 260 in 441 appearances, was on hand to watch the drama unfold.

The football legend said: “It was a fantastic event in an amazing place. The course was superb and the resort is just incredible. I am just sad I was unable to play myself as I am recovering from an arm injury.”

Situated about an hour from Salzburg Airport, the Golf & Spa Resort Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel, which boasts spectacular views of the Wilder Kaiser mountain range, is a salubrious hotel, featuring an extensive range of facilities such as the Grand Alps SPA that includes an indoor/outdoor pool, six saunas and 13 treatment rooms.

MDHIO, which has been running since 1990 in USA and since 2000 in Europe, has steadily grown in popularity over the years and more than 50,000 people each year try their luck at the various par 3 holes at the 40 associated courses across Portugal, mainland Spain, Majorca and the UK.

The final will be held in Las Vegas, USA every other year and hosted at other top venues across the world every alternative season.

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