Rugby World Cup winner Mike Tindall led Team England to victory and champagne celebrations following a thrilling finish to the Celebrity Cup at Celtic Manor.
Captain Tindall was cheered on by his wife, Zara Phillips, as England avenged their defeat in last year’s final to the same opponents, Scotland.
“The boys did really well,” said Tindall. “I’m happy because it means I can now ring Sir Steve Redgrave and tell him I’ve been able to do something he wasn’t able to do as captain last year.”
The other members of the winning team were actor and entertainer Bradley Walsh, Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Peter Jones, cricketer Graeme Swann, former world champion swimmer Mark Foster and The Good Wife star Matthew Goode.
Home side Wales, led by television star Rob Brydon, finished in third place after beating Ireland in a play-off. Brydon vied for the biggest laughs over the weekend with former Coronation Star regular Walsh and Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll in a tournament where the banter was every bit as entertaining as the golf.
O’Carroll said: “Apart from raising money for the charities, the most important thing was not the golf but entertaining the people who came out to see us. I just hope they’ve had as good a time as we have.
“I play in charity golf events all over the world and this has been the best organised tournament and the warmest welcome I’ve ever had.”
The two charities to benefit from a fund-raising gala dinner auction were the Caron Keating Foundation and the Play Golf Help Save Lives defibrillator campaign, founded by former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher who was the Celebrity Cup’s golf ambassador and mentor to the star players.
As well as two days packed full of golfing action, the spectators were treated to celebrity golf challenges and entertaining tented village Q&A sessions with the likes of Welsh rugby star George North and Jesse Metcalfe, the Dallas and Desperate Housewives heartthrob.
Wales captain Brydon said: “This is such a fantastically organised event and we’ve all had such a great time. “I would like to thank (tournament organiser) Russ Lindsay and everyone here at Celtic Manor for all the hard work they put in to make this such a fantastic event to play in.”
Other stars to compete in the event which delights celebrity spotters and golf fans alike included Irish singing superstars Ronan Keating, Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy, actors Dougray Scott, Philip Glenister and Andrew Howard, rugby legends Gareth Edwards and Gavin Hastings, and TV presenter Gethin Jones.
Celtic Manor Resort www.celtic-manor.com