The Challenge Tour’s The Princess began with a bang with an exhibition match featuring tournament host Henrik Stenson and his fellow European Tour star Søren Kjeldsen.
Swede Stenson partnered his country’s top amateur, Henrik Norlander, and Dane Kjeldsen teamed up with Denmark’s counterpart, Andreas Hartö, as more than a thousand spectators watched at Båstad GK.
The opening nine holes of better ball was won by Sweden, and in the singles over the second nine, Stenson beat Kjeldsen and Norlander saw off Hartö giving the Swedes all three points for the day.
Kjeldsen said: “The Swedes were the better players today, but we are hoping for another chance to beat them. I had never met Andreas before, but he played very well.”
The second edition of The Princess will take place over the New Course at Båstad GK this week, and it is again backed by Stenson, who has enjoyed a stellar career having come through the Challenge Tour ranks. Stenson won the 2000 Challenge Tour Rankings with a record eight top ten finishes which included three victories, and he has gone on to win six European Tour titles, the 2008 Omega Mission Hills World Cup with Robert Karlsson and was part of the 2006 and 2008 European Ryder Cup Teams.
The 34 year old donated €5,000 from the Henrik Stenson Foundation to ‘Friends’, The Princess’ chosen charity which works to eliminate bullying in schools and extra-curricular activities.
Stenson said: “It is very important for me to be able to give back to golf for all I have received over the years, and in addition to the Challenge Tour tournament I also want to give to an organisation which clearly stands for the same values I have. I hope the money will be of great use in the fight against bullying.”
Of The Princess, which is named after his daughter, Lisa, Stenson added: “This is a perfect time for spectators to check out the golf stars of the future before they break through. The golf is of the highest standard and the players are real professionals.”
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