Paralympian Giles Long joins European Tour stars in Putts4Charity® Challenge

5/24/2013 4:27:00 PM
L-R: Giles Long, Pablo Larrazabal, Ross Fisher and Jonathan Orr take part in the Genworth Putts4Charity challenge  (Getty Images)
L-R: Giles Long, Pablo Larrazabal, Ross Fisher and Jonathan Orr take part in the Genworth Putts4Charity challenge (Getty Images)

Genworth’s Putts4Charity initiative has made a welcome return to The BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club this week with continued support from the Tour Players’ Foundation and with additional assistance today from Paralympic gold medallist Giles Long MBE.

In a ‘new look’ Putts4Charity format introduced for 2013, two teams made up of European Tour players, the Tour Players Foundation, Genworth representatives and invited  guests compete against each other in the Putts4Charity Challenge Series.  The Genworth Foundation makes a donation of €2,000 to SOS Children’s Villages on behalf of the winning team after each Challenge.

The Challenge at the BMW PGA Championship today was a hard fought affair with Pablo Larrazábal and Giles Long (Team Genworth) taking on Ross Fisher and Tour Player’s Foundation Trustee Jonathan Orr (Team TPF). It was Larrazábal’s team that finally won the Challenge after the 4th hole going 2 up in the series.

“As a Paralympic gold medallist I am incredibly focused on winning whatever sport I’m competing in so I was keen to take part in Putts4Charity” said Giles Long MBE, Sydney 2000 Paralympic games Butterfly gold medallist. "It’s been great fun and also has the added bonus of raising further donations for charity. Golf isn’t my first sport or my second for that matter so it’s been a huge learning curve playing alongside these great players  – I think I held my own and was delighted to be on the winning team. It was a fantastic experience, the adrenalin was really pumping as we went from hole to hole. I’m now tempted to challenge the guys to a race in the pool and see how they get on – it would be a sponsored swim of course!” joked Long.

“This was my 16th Putts4Charity appearance “ added Fisher.  “We were determined to carry on despite the rain, we’ve never had to call one off yet – there’s so much to play for when you’re raising money for charity!”

Larrazábal was also keen to play on in the rain. “We were raising valuably needed funds for SOS Children’s Villages helping orphaned and abandoned children. I visited my local SOS Village in Barcelona last year – they are doing amazing work giving these children a better start in life.”
Staged at four specially constructed greens in the sponsors village at various stops on The European Tour schedule, the Putts4Charity Challenge comprises of a ‘four ball, better ball’ approach with both teams attempting to win each hole by scoring more one-putts than the opposing team.

Putts4Charity also engages with tournament spectators at the European Tour tournaments where it features by challenging the public to make a successful “one putt” on the Putts4Charity greens. Each successful attempt by a spectator generates €1, plus an additional €2 is donated when a European Tour player makes a one putt out on course. Like the Challenge Series, all funds are donated by the Genworth Foundation.

Four Challenge Series events will take place as part of Genworth’s 2013 Putts4Charity programme. The first took place at last month’s Ballantine’s Championship with Genworth Ambassador Pablo Larrazábal’s team coming out on top once again. Further challenges will take place at the BMW International Open and the Italian Open. The Challenge Series Final will be staged at the Turkish Open in November.

Putts4Charity has generated donations exceeding €1 Million to date and has already helped to change the lives of thousands of orphaned and abandoned children across Europe and China through grants to SOS Children’s Villages.