In a momentous day on The European Tour on Saturday, amateurs enjoyed their day in the sun, playing with the professionals in the Volvo Golf Champions Amateur Pro Team Competition.
When the dust had settled, Kevin Aherne from Volvo Car UK drove off with the amateur prize, whilst Darren Clarke and Paul Casey, his playing partners on the day, both won a Volvo S60 for their contribution to the team triumph.
“That was quite simply the most memorable day of my golfing life,” said Aherne (53), adding, “I was playing with two legends of the game, both true gentlemen and this day cannot be bettered on a golf course.”
Team Casey, Clarke and Aherne finished tied with Rodney Louison representing Qatar, Christian Nilsson and David Horsey on 16-under-par, but won because Casey and Clarke had the better professional score.
Retired Aherne, who plays his golf at Woburn, home club also of top European Tour professional Ian Poulter added, “We have been treated like royalty, you can’t describe it and I’m going to buy a Volvo now.”
Said world number eight Casey, “I wasn’t sure how this was going to go down,” adding, “We had a blast,” adding, “Clarkey and I, we really enjoyed it.”
Added Clarke, “We had really good fun today with Kevin, our amateur partner, he really enjoyed it and both Paul and I played nicely, so, all in all, it was a very good day.”
Commenting on the occasion, Per Ericsson, President, Volvo Event Management – Golf said, “First of all, I salute all the amateurs for their courage and skill and congratulate the winning team of Paul [Casey], Darren [Clarke] and Kevin [Aherne] who looked to be having a great time out there.”
He continued, “We care just as much about our amateur golfers as we do about the professionals and it was nice to be able to bring the two sides of the game together under one competition,” adding, “I think the amateurs’ caddies, all of them Royal Golf Club members performed amazingly well and supported our amateurs so well, whilst the galleries were very generous towards both professionals and amateurs.”
The third podium place was taken by the threesome of Stephen Gallacher, James Kingston and Martin Figeroa, who came all the way from Chile, one shot back, with Thomas Björn, Oliver Wilson and amateur Patrik Thelin representing Volvo Trucks, Sweden.
The inaugural Volvo Golf Champions concludes today, followed by the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge over the Montgomerie Course at the Royal Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday.
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