A Slice of the Belgian action

5/23/2012 9:31:59 AM
Kim Clijsters at the Telenet Celebrity Challenge  (EuropeanTour)
Kim Clijsters at the Telenet Celebrity Challenge (EuropeanTour)

Pepperell gets YouTube tutorial from Luke Donald

Earlier this week, we saw the power of Twitter at the Telenet Trophy, and once again the wonder of technology appears to be having a huge effect on the tournament at Ravenstein Royal Golf Club of Belgium.

Eddie Pepperell, the winner of the ALLIANZ Open Côtes d’Armor Bretagne two weeks ago, was struggling with his short game this week in Belgium but managed to make the cut by a single shot after two level par opening rounds of 71.

Things soon took a sharp turnaround, however, and on the third day he carded eight birdies in a six under par round of 65 that put him right into contention for a second win in a row. And what did have to thank for this change in fortunes?

“I watched some short game stuff with Luke Donald this morning on YouTube,” said Pepperell, who won the Portuguese Amateur Championship in an impressive amateur career. “I was struggling with chipping and pitching and the feel around the greens so I watched some of his stuff.

“I love watching him, the way he plays, his short game. So a few of his tips really helped me out there around the greens."

Written in the stars for Geminiani?

One of the more interesting players taking part in this week's Telenet Trophy is Domenico Geminiani, a young Italian who has been tipped by many in his home country as the next Mattero Manassero.

The 15 year old was born in the Carribbean island of Martinique before moving to the USA at the age of five and he took up golf at the age of nine in 2005.

He has since gone on to impress in the amateur game before turning professional and was one of the youngest players to play a European Tour event when he teed up as a 14 year old at the Italian Open in 2010.

He has since played in the ALLIANZ Open Côtes d’Armor Bretagne on the Challenge Tour, where he finished 61st. Matteo Manassero shot to stardom via the Challenge Tour after making his debut at 13 years of age. Will this young Italian starlet follow suit?

Only time will tell.

McLeary's social networking pays off

While the world of social networking certainly has its naysayers, Jamie McLeary experienced the positive side of Twitter on Pro-Am day at the Telenet Trophy when all of his tweeting wishes came true.

Like so many of the Challenge Tour players present in Belgium this week, the Scotsman has been waxing lyrical about the Ravenstein Royal Golf Club de Belgium and was singing the praises of the course on Twitter, saying: "Wish I was playing in pro-am today @ChallengeTour. Would never get tired of playing this course #beautiful."

The Challenge Tour is always on the ball, however, and after our tweet-wise referee spotted the tweet, it rang alarm bells when there was a drop-out from the Pro-Am competition.

The referee approached McLeary to step in and play and just hours after his tweet, the Challenge Tour winner was fulfilling his wishes, enjoying himself in the Pro-Am.


Celeb-watch at the Telenet Trophy

The Telenet Trophy may not be the most glamorous golf event on the golf calendar this week with a plethora of celebrities gathering at The European Tour’s Wentworth home this week, but there will be a few stars gracing us with their presence at Ravenstein Royal Golf Club this week.

The Telenet Celebrity Challenge takes place on Sunday, with one of Belgium’s biggest sports stars, tennis player Kim Clijsters, joined by former European champion table-tennis player Jean-Michel Saive and former World champion judo athlete Ingrid Berghmans, amongst others.

They will all aim for a target on the driving range with the hope of getting closest and while they will certainly have claimed more important title in their careers, the honour of being the top Telenet celebrity is sure to be much coveted.

100 reasons to celebrate

The Telenet Trophy takes place at the stunning Royal Golf Club of Belgium this week for the first time as the Royal Belgian Golf Federation and there is a reason for the change of venue from Royal Waterloo.

The Royal Belgian Golf Federation celebrates its centenary year this year and a number of dignitaries from the Federation and beyond will attend this week to join in the celebrations.

Indeed, the Federation even had a stamp printed in its honour of its 100th birthday, which is pictured above.

A local guide to Tervuren

At the Challenge Tour we don’t like our fleeting week-long annual visits to tournament destinations to pass by without immersing ourselves in a little local knowledge and so here is our guide to Tervuren:

-    Tervuren is a small municipality in the Belgian region of Flanders. The local language here is Dutch but there are many expatriates from various countries who have moved to the Brussels suburbs to work for the European Union, NATO or the many major corporations.
-    The Brussels and Tervuren area is famous for its dessert waffles, while the area is also reputedly to blame for the Brussels Sprout (although they understandably distance themselves from the accusation!).
-    The local football team is RSC Anderlecht, the most successful Belgian team in European competitions whose former players include current Denmark manager Morten Olsen and Luc Nilis, who briefly played for Aston Villa and also broke Irish hearts by scoring the play-off goal against Mick McCarthy's side which earned Belgium a place in the 1998 World Cup.