Eighteen golfers from across England have beaten thousands of fellow amateurs to qualify for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete in the Bridgestone Challenge pro-am.
The 18 amateurs won their places at the national finals of Bridgestone’s Chase Your Dream Trophy at Woodhall Spa, run in partnership with England Golf and open to winners of club competitions.
Now, they’ll tee-up at Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire on September 6 and the best team there will go forward to the pro-am of the British Masters supported by Sky Sports at Close House, Northumberland, on September 27. There, they could partner Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia or another household name of the European Tour.
The qualifiers, aged between 14 and 60-years-old, survived sunshine, driving rain and lightning to complete the women’s final on the Hotchkin course and the men’s on the Bracken; both among the best courses in England.
With the British Masters supported by Sky Sports now only one round away, competitors will be looking to continue their golfing stories by following their dreams.
The individual winners of the two finals, John Newall from Hazlemere Golf Club and Rebecca Webb from East Berkshire Golf Club, were also crowned England’s male and female Handicap Golfers of the Year.
John, playing off a handicap of 11, said: “The whole experience has been incredible. The giant leaderboard, the facilities, the professionalism, everything. Bridgestone and England Golf have created a competition to give us little guys a chance to live like a professional. They have basically allowed us guys to chase our own dreams.”
As John and Rebecca, a six-handicapper, celebrate their individual successes, the other qualifiers will now begin preparing for the Bridgestone Challenge. They include Gill Kapka, who overcame a knee injury to compete, Barrie Harding, who hit a debut hole-in-one in practice, and 14-year-old Hannah Golding, the youngest golfer in the competition.
Bridgestone Tyres’ consumer sales and marketing director Farrell Dolan said: “We’ve seen and heard many stories of success in the tournament - bringing the Chase Your Dream Trophy to life for all abilities and ages.”
“All golfers have been on an incredible journey, starting months ago at their respective club events. They are now just 18 holes away from a round with a European Tour star at the British Masters, supported by Sky Sports.”
The qualifiers from Woodhall Spa who will play in the Bridgestone Challenge pro-am are:
Women, pictured top: Rebecca Webb (East Berkshire Golf Club), Gill Kapka (Cleethorpes Golf Club, Lincolnshire), Francesca Leach (Woburn Golf Club, Buckinghamshire), Ashlee Tyrell (The Rayleigh Club, Essex), Kathryn Naylor (Windlesham Golf Club, Surrey), Debbie Ricketts (Parkstone Golf Club, Dorset), Debbie Deakin (Mickleover Golf Club, Derbyshire), Mandy Holden (West End Golf Club, Yorkshire), Hannah Golding (Brocton Hall Golf Club, Staffordshire).
Men, pictured below: John Newell (Hazlemere Golf Club, Buckinghamshire), Jacob Scargill (Hanging Heaton Golf Club, Yorkshire), Neil Jonas (Tilgate Forest Golf Club, Sussex), Kevin Madden (Walmley Golf Club, Warwickshire), Michael Durkin (Hurlston Hall Golf Club, Lancashire), Giles Puckle (Clandon Regis Golf Club, Surrey), Sam Storey (Windlesham Golf Club, Surrey), Barrie Harding (West Byfleet Golf Club, Surrey), Neil Garbutt (Masham Golf Club, Yorkshire).
For more information about Bridgestone and its Chase Your Dream concept, visit www.nomatterwhat.uk.com