South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen, 2010 Open Champion, was one of seven of the world’s best players who took part in the ‘Open Tri-Golf’ Challenge’ earlier this week and, in a game where the highest score wins, he finished behind England’s Ian Poulter’s 92 and America’s Bill Haas, who scored an amazing 101.
The Golf Foundation created a unique ‘Open Tri-Golf Challenge’ for all the professionals who encouraged young boys and girls at St Andrews for Open Championship Week.
Even when playing Tri-Golf, Open Championship players are competitive by nature and on their practice days could not resist the opportunity to play high-energy games in the ‘R&A Swingzone’.
Using Tri-Golf clubs they took on a 30-second speed and accuracy trial with each player hitting ball after ball at numbered targets against the clock. The scores were loudly counted up by the excited boys and girls and entered on a ‘Top Gear style’ leaderboard.
After Ian Poulter hit 92 points in front of a packed crowd, the challenge was well and truly set. Robert Karlsson, Louis Oosthuizen and Mark Haastrup all threatened briefly and there were high hopes for a win for 2007 Masters Champion and no stranger to pressure situations Zach Johnson.
The penultimate competitor – promising Argentinian Tano Goya – played a cool game to hit 100 for the first time. But it was smiling Bill Haas from America, in the last second and with the last shot of the challenge, who hit the target to win by a single point on 101.
Mike Round, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Tri-Golf can be played by children of five years up and it’s a great preparation for real golf. This fun challenge helped to raise the profile of Golf Roots, our national programme which aims to reach 1 million children per year by 2013.”
Zach Johnson, Bill Haas, Robert Karlsson, Tano Goya, and Mark Haastrup appeared for the Golf Foundation courtesy of Titleist, while Louis Oosthuizen appeared courtesy of PING, and Ian Poulter courtesy of Cobra.
The Golf Foundation aims to make the game more accessible for children from all backgrounds and abilities, working in support of the national golf partnerships of England, Scotland and Wales.
The R&A, a core funder of the Golf Foundation, provided The R&A Swingzone for beginner golfers. The Foundation shared this facility with clubgolf, Scotland’s national strategy for golf, and the Professional Golfers’ Association.
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org