The first Celeb-Am of the 2017 Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship was won by Scottish rugby star Max Evans on an action-packed start to this year’s Championship on the Cromwell Course.
The professional element of the Celeb-Am was won by Spanish European Senior Tour star Miguel Angel Martin, with a round of -2 edging him ahead of the likes of tournament host Tony Jacklin CBE, Ryder Cup star Peter Baker and European Senior Tour mainstay Gary Wolstenholme MBE.
There was a tie between the two strongest teams on -14, Farmfoods 3, starring US professional Larry Laoretti, and The Social Golfer, with ex-England striker Dean Ashton, sharing the honours.
Tuesday’s Celeb-Am, kicked off the tournament, with teams of four, made up of a celebrity name alongside amateur players, taking to the course in ‘shotgun’ starts at 8.30am, 11.30am and 14.30pm, with each team teeing off from a different hole.
After heavy rain hit the course early on Tuesday morning, conditions cleared somewhat, with a light drizzle lingering over the Cromwell Course. Conditions, then, while not ideal were certainly not as bad as feared for the first groupings of players, upon their start times of 8.30am.
Evans took this as an opportunity to stake a claim for the Celeb-Am win. With a handicap of 2, he birdied the 110-yard sixth hole and went on to finish his round with a score of 36 points, on level par. Other notable celebrities taking part in the morning session included: Talksport’s Georgie Bingham, athletics hero Derek Redmond and former England striker Ashton.
Just before noon, more sporting legends took to the tees of the Cromwell Course, with England goalkeeper Peter Shilton OBE, Manchester United striking hero Andy Cole and Wales forward John Hartson MBE. They were joined by rugby royalty in the form of England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Mike Tindall MBE, former England cricketer James Taylor and ‘Strictly’ star Len Goodman.
Ryder Cup legend Tony Jacklin CBE and former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker, were among the pros to tee off at midday. By this point, the weather had held off, and the crowds were fully embracing the magic of the Par 3, with Tindall, in particular, proving to be a popular proposition.
In the afternoon at 2.30pm, ‘Harry Potter’ actors James and Oliver Phelps teed off, with Oliver caddying for his twin brother, as well as BBC TV presenters Naga Munchetty and Manish Bhasin. Scotland manager Gordon Strachan OBE, former Aston Villa and Bayern Munich striker Alan McInally and Irish singers Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy, also getting involved. McInally made a late charge to take the win, and at one point, sat at -2 to take the lead. However, the tough challenge of the Cromwell Course eventually saw him drop back to a score of +8.
Rugby star Evans took the victory, and a quality day of action at the first day of 2017 Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship had come to an end. Wednesday brings the first day of the Professional Championship, with professionals competing for the €150,000 prize fund, with the winner taking home €50,000.
This evening will see many of the star names that took part in today’s action attending the Charity Gala Ball at Nailcote Hall, which will be hosted by comedian Dominic Holland. Following a three-course meal, guests will be invited to take part in a live charity auction raising vital funds for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.
Free tickets to rest of this week’s action at Nailcote Hall are still available from: http://britishpar3.com/booking/event-ticket/2017.
The Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship welcomes back title sponsor Farmfoods and event partners Nailcote Hall, Champions (UK) plc, Browns Food Group, The Eagle Tour, ITV, The Birmingham Post, Total Motion, Glenmuir, Bentley Leicester, Inspirational Magazine, Finest Catch, Champions Celebrity, VPAR Live Golf and Champions After Dinner Speakers and chosen charity for the event Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. Returning media partner, Sky Sports will also support the event with its usual excellent coverage.