Hardys Wines’ eight year association with the European Senior Tour as Official Wine Supplier has ended, calling time on a relationship that has seen both parties flourish since the turn of the millennium.
The leading Australian wine company, which was founded in 1853 and which is part of the Constellation brand, the world’s largest wine making firm, has been a fixture at Senior Tour events, giving spectators the chance to sample fine wines.
Hardys also helped introduce a number of unique elements during its long association with the Senior Tour, including the Hardys Hole in One Prize which rewarded players for an ace at any Senior Tour event with a bottle of wine for every yard of the hole.
Famously the concept led to Australian Graham Marsh winning 340 bottles of wine when he made history at The 2004 Senior Open Championship, becoming the first player either side of the Atlantic to make two holes in one on the same hole in a Major Championship.
Incredibly Marsh aced the 170 yard par three 11th hole on the Dunluce Course at Royal Portrush Golf Club twice in three days to take advantage of Hardys Hole in One Prize.
Another memorable ace came in 2003 when Guillermo Encina recorded the longest hole in one in Senior Tour history at the Tunisian Seniors Open.
Encina holed his tee shot at the dogleg 354 yard par four 11th hole at El Kantaoui Golf Club to win 354 bottles of wine – although the Chilean was unable to enjoy any of them personally as he has been teetotal for most of his life.
Hardys has also sponsored the Rookie of the Year award, won last year by Italian former Ryder Cup player Costantino Rocca. Other previous winners include Josà© Rivero (2006), Kevin Spurgeon (2005), Pete Oakley (2004) and Carl Mason (2003), with 2008 John Jacobs Trophy winner Ian Woosnam the latest recipient of the Rookie of Year award.
Clare Griffiths, vice president European consumer marketing, said, “For the past eight years Hardys have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the European Senior Tour and we wish them continued success in the future.”
Andy Stubbs, managing director of the European Senior Tour, said, “We have greatly appreciated our relationship with Hardys over the past eight years and many of our events have benefitted from their excellent support.
“We feel proud to have introduced their fine wines to our growing audience and we hope that both Hardys and the European Senior Tour continue to enjoy the success that each side helped build during this fruitful association.”
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