Our press officer brings you all the action from on and off the course at the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Challenge hosted by Royal Golf Club…
First tee nerves for Johansen
Bolton Wanderers fans might recognise the starter on tee ten this week, who is none other than former midfielder Michael Johansen. He joined the club in 1996 and helped earn promotion to the Premier League that season, but is perhaps remembered most for his penalty miss in the 2000 FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa at Wembley. These days he is a member of Royal Golf Club in Copenhagen and signed up to be part of the volunteer team this week. He said he was more nervous performing his starter's duties than he was playing at Wembley!
Welcome back, Steen
There is a familiar face in the field this week in the form of Steen Tinning, a European Tour player throughout the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s. Tinning retired from a regular European Tour career when he lost his card in 2003, but he came through a qualifier for the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Challenge on Monday with a level par 72. Royal Golf Club is not far from his home, so it was a welcome bonus for the 50 year old and a chance to get some competitive juices flowing once again.
Olesen in the house
Copenhagen resident Thorbjørn Olsen was in town this week, having taken some time off from competition before he heads to China at the weekend, and the tournament was delighted when he accepted a late invitation to play in the pro-am. The 22 year old has enjoyed a meteoric rise since graduating in third place from the 2010 Challenge Tour Rankings, winning his maiden European Tour title earlier this season and rising to 59th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Read the full story about Olesen's visit here
Scotchy lends a hand
Royal Golf Club had the wisdom and experience of European Tour caddie John Graham on hand when it came to preparing the course for the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Challenge. Graham, more commonly known as Scotchy, is a member here and lives in Copenhagen with his wife, Caroline Rasmussen, also a professional golfer, and son. Scotchy has caddied for Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Soren Hansen and Marc Warren in his time, so his input was highly valued. Word on the course is that it has been set up to be very tough, with one player even predicting that level par would be the winning score.
Carbon neutral Copenhagen Towers
With all the air miles we clock up during the season, it's great to know that this week's hotel is giving something back to the environment. Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers is one of the greenest hotels in the world, with We're one of the world's greenest hotels, with Denmark's first groundwater-based heating and cooling system and the largest building-integrated solar panels in northern Europe. It is also located three minutes from the golf club and seven minutes on the Metro from the fantastic centre of Copenhagen and all it has to offer. Happy days.
Tak, Royal Golf Club!
The Challenge Tour is indebted to Royal Golf Club for stepping in at a time of need and ensuring there was a tournament this week. We should have been off to the Mugello Tuscany Open near Florence for the season’s penultimate event, but the severe drought in Italy this summer has rendered the course there unplayable, despite the hard work of the greenkeeping staff. So, with three weeks to go, we switched from pizza and pasta to Danish pastries and swapped shorts and t-shirts for hats and gloves. Walking around Royal Golf Club, you would never know the tournament has been organised at short notice. In fact, it is one of the best, most well-organised events of the year. So thanks to all the staff involved and here’s to a great week of golf. Read more about how the event was prepared at such short notice here
There could hardly have been a more appropriate destination than Denmark when the tournament was switched a few weeks ago, as the country has enjoyed a fine season on the Challenge Tour this year. Andreas Hartø won in the Czech Republic last week to go to second in the Rankings, while Joachim B Hansen is eighth, Morten Orum Madsen 15th and Lasse Jensen 23rd. The close-knit group were delighted to be heading home for a week, and no doubt they will spur each other on for a final push for the campaign before next week’s finale, the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, where they have hired a villa together.