Players lavish praise on inaugural Kharkov Superior Cup

13/09/2013 08:41:00
Clubhouse - Kharkov Superior Cup - Superior Golf & Spa Resort ()
Clubhouse - Kharkov Superior Cup - Superior Golf & Spa Resort ()
The inaugural Kharkov Superior Cup marked an historic occasion for Ukrainian golf as the country hosted its first major professional event, and the tournament has attracted widespread praise from the Challenge Tour players, many of whom have likened it to a European Tour event.

The Challenge Tour prides itself on bringing the game of golf to new nations, as it has done in places such as Czech Republic, Russia and Kazakhstan, and Ukraine has become one of the 46 different countries to host the tour.

With a superb course, excellent facilities and two marvellous official hotels in the picturesque city of Kharkov, the event has proven a roaring success, especially with the players, many of whom have said it is the best tournament of the year so far.

Englishman Steve Tiley, for one, has been blown away by the event and paid particular tribute to the venue owner Yuriy Sapronov, the main financier of the tournament.

“This place is unreal, it really is,” said the experienced Tiley, who finished tied 26th at this year’s Open Championship. “I was playing with Mark Nichols, who knows the owner, and he said they installed the huge net at the back of the range especially for the event just so that we would be able to practice with drivers.

“They are really setting a standard for Challenge Tour events, no doubt. The standard of this tournament is amazing, the facilities are great and the course is really good. You could host a European Tour event here, easy.

“The owner has put up all the money for this event and you can’t say enough good things about what they have done here. I just feel so lucky. People are struggling to keep their jobs and this guy is putting up his own money just so that we can come here and play for a living and do it comfortably. 

“It feels like a European Tour event so it’s really nice. In golf, you earn what you play - the better golf you play the better the facilities are and the better you get treated - but this is a tournament which really sets a standard for the Challenge Tour.”

Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard, meanwhile, was quick to point out the kind welcome afforded to the players by the Ukrainian people and admitted that it was one of the most enjoyable weeks of his short Challenge tour career.

“I have been really impressed by this tournament,” said the 22 year old. “I am staying in the hotel on-site and everyone is so helpful, the service is great.

“The practice facilities are really good too. I was talking to my caddie during the round saying that if it comes back here for the next few years it would be amazing for the Challenge Tour.

“It’s very well organised and the people just want to help you all the time. It’s a nice atmosphere here, definitely, so I hope the people here in Ukraine think the same and come out to support us during the week.”