The De Vere Club PGA Seniors Championship week got underway in style with the much anticipated grudge match between Freddie Flintoff and Harry Redknapp being won in comprehensive style by Harry’s team of footballers.
The highly decorated Premiership manager gave a rousing team talk before teeing off around the Hunting course, with Clive Allen and Jamie Redknapp spearheading the footballer teams challenge with impressive wins in their respective matches. Harry and Freddie had a tight match in the headline tie which finished in a halve, as they were joined by Ryder Cup legends Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam. All four were in great spirits at Slaley Hall and the two former Ryder Cup captains were showing signs of form before the European Senior Tours flagship event gets underway today (Thursday 9th June).
“The lads have done me proud. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and it’s great to get one up on Freddie and his cricketer’s team. Watching Woosie and Sam was a terrific experience and we all wish them the very best for this week at the De Vere Club PGA Seniors Championship,” commented Redknapp on receiving the trophy.
The well-known faces from the world of football and cricket attracted impressive crowds from the surrounding area.
The victorious footballers team was made up of some top class international stars including; Jamie Redknapp, Peter Beardsley, Clive Allen and Kevin Bond. Freddie’s team was made up of a host of his former Ashes team mates including, Darren Gough, Steve Harmison, Paul Collingwood, Graham Onions and Graeme Hick. Despite confident noises coming from the Flintoff camp as early favourites, the De Vere Club member was unable to clinch a much sought after victory, despite a tense half in his match.
“We didn’t perform as a team and Harmi (Steve Harmison) let the side down getting drubbed 7&5 against Clive (Allen) and Gordon (Brand Jnr)(!) That heavy defeat filtered down through the team and affected our confidence; I am going to be more diligent in my team selection next year!” joked Flintoff following the match. “In all seriousness though, it has been a privilege to compete around such a great course and to have been looked after so well by the team at De Vere. It’s always a pleasure coming here and i can’t wait to get my revenge on Harry next year.”
This wasn’t the first time the guests at De Vere Slaley Hall had seen the stars in action. The previous evening (Tuesday), Freddie and Harry were pitted against one another, with their partners for the main event, Torrance and Woosnam. The ‘Terrace Shootout’ took place to the 18th green of the spectacular Hunting course, which will host the championship for the fourth consecutive year this weekend. The foursomes challenge match came down to an 8 foot putt, which Flintoff duly lipped out.
The two days of activity before the world’s finest Senior golfers take centre stage has celebrated not only De Vere’s continued partnership with the PGA and European Senior Tour, but also the first year the De Vere Club has been title sponsor.
The unique golf membership initiative allows golfers to play at any of De Vere’s 16 golf courses at 11 venues across the UK has been the focal point for De Vere’s golf promotion. Redknapp and Flintoff are the latest members, so were invited with a host of their close friends and sporting piers to raise awareness of the European Senior Tour event, and the De Vere Club.
The De Vere Club www.thedevereclub.co.uk