The Celebrity Cup golf tournament is a popular sporting event in the Welsh calendar. Hosted by The Celtic Manor resort, typically every July, this star studded two-day event brings the likes of football’s leading man Gareth Bale, singer Ronan Keating and Rugby legend Sir Gareth Edwards onto the golf course to team up and represent their home countries (England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales) and compete for the Celebrity Cup.
There’s plenty of fun things to do at The Celtic Manor Resort besides the golf with a kid’s area, Get Into Golf zone, live music and champagne bar.
The first morning’s round of golf was between England and Scotland, followed by Wales and Ireland which saw the Welsh team (captained by Rob Brydon) take an early lead – much to the delight of the home crowd.
Rob Brydon brought brilliant comedy value to the days events and like other celebrities attending, stopped for autographs and selfies between play. The afternoon’s audience was wowed by Zoe Hardman’s (Team England) impressive tee shot on the first hole against Ireland, her fellow teammates included popular TV hosts Ben Shepherd and Vernon Kay.
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Wales’s lead proved not to be a runaway – backed by the muscle power of Rory Lawson and the Evans brothers, Thom and Max, Scotland closed the gap with just 1/2 a point separating the top three teams by the end of play on day one. Saturday’s fun however didn’t stop there, in the evening the Resort hosted a fabulous gala dinner that raised thousands of pounds for the tournament’s charity, The Caron Keating foundation.
On Sunday, the penultimate third round saw team Wales defeat England, meaning they were one step closer to victory with a final gripping game to come against Team Scotland. Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish and Gordon Strachan all represented Scotland at the Celebrity Cup in 2013 and won so it seemed a second win for them was now a real possibility…
Team Ireland’s Ronan Keating, together with the likes of Keith Duffy (Captain), Shane Bryne and TV Presenter Brian Ormond, teared up the turf in a terrific race for third place against England. After overcoming some frustrating off-target shots and a midday downpour, the English team eventually clinched third position.
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The competition between Wales and Scotland was strong with Gordon Strachan (Scotland’s Football Manager) on great form by hole 5.
By this point a large crowd of spectators appeared completely gripped and followed the competition closely for the final few holes.
As Team Wales stepped onto the final hole, it was Gethin Jones and Sir Gareth Edwards who sealed the team’s victory with an on-target putt that sent the silent crowd into a frenzy.
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The weekend was great fun and I’d have to agree with Chief Executive Ian Edwards that the event does “bring new audiences to golf”. As a kid I had an interest in the sport that got lost somewhere in my teens so the weekend was a great reminder of how engaging golf can be. It was so good to see all ages completely immersed by all the Celebrity Cup action too!
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Thanks to The Celtic Manor Resort and PR team for inviting me to this event. All opinions are my own.