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Fittingly it was the Scottish team of Chris Aitken and William Macmillan, representing Rolls Royce PLC, who came out on top in the 20th anniversary edition of the 2013 World Golf Corporate Challenge.
For the first time in the history of the event the World Final was held in Scotland at De Vere Cameron House and on The Carrick, Loch Lomond, and was supported by VisitScotland, Scottish Development International and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
The World Corporate Golf Challenge is the biggest corporate golf tournament in the world. Established 20 years ago, over one million golfers have competed from over 25 countries for the chance to represent their corporate company and country at the World Finals. The event is supported by national media partners in each territory and the World Finals are filmed by Golfing World TV and distributed to international broadcasters globally across North and South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australasia.
Teams representing companies from all over the world secured their place in Scotland by winning their National Finals in their respective countries. Countries represented included Australia, Belize, Brazil, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, England, Finland, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Italy, Mauritius, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and Wales.
Competitors, Sponsors and Guests had an experience of a lifetime getting the chance to visit some of Scotland’s most stunning attractions and places of interest as well as playing some of Scotland’s top rated golf courses. They also had the honour of meeting with two time major winner, Ryder Cup legend and WCGC Global Ambassador Tony Jacklin who was in attendance all week, along with 1989 European Tour Order of Merit Winner and Ryder Cup player Ronan Rafferty. Jeremy Dale, one of the world’s leading golf trick shot exponents showed guests his breath taking skills during his show and throughout the week.
The opening round of the tournament played on The Carrick on Loch Lomond, presented a tough challenge for all, with the course playing particularly long. For the second time, the World Final was officially being scored using VPAR’s interactive technology which provided each competitor with a live leaderboard via a handset. By the close of play on day one the team from Bantrab, Guatemala, were leading on 62 points with Rolls Royce PLC from Scotland 9 points behind in second on 53 points with New Zealand team of Rob Simmonds and Mark Jackson, way back in 9th on 46 points.
Nine behind the Guatemalan team of Sergio Anibal Hernandez and Pablo Hernandez representing the bank Bantrab, the Rolls Royce engineering specialists purred gently through the field on the final day of the competition, before taking the lead at the short 16th. There, the wheels started to come off for the Guatemalan duo, who hit successive balls into the gorse. New Zealand, on 101 points, were still a worry, after making a stunning surge through the field, but when Aitken holed from eight feet at the 17th the home pair went ahead on 102 points before finishing on 105 to win by three from Guatamala.
“Have we actually won?” queried the cack-handed MacMillan after six and a half hours’ of golf in weather that one particularly polite overseas visitor referred to as “a friendly drizzle.”
The Scots acknowledged that they experienced “a few nervy holes” but their putting over the wet greens was mostly first class.
Ronan Rafferty, the former Walker and Ryder Cup player who was co-hosting the event with Tony Jacklin, pointed to how the winners and Guatemala were at the opposite end of the spectrum. Where Scotland boasts 578 courses and 236,000 golfers, Guatemala has but six courses and 500 players.
“It just goes to show,” said Rafferty, “that even the smallest golfing nation can make its presence felt. The growing global appeal of the game never ceases to amaze me.”
The 28-year-old Pablo Hernandez, though he and his partner had failed to hang on, said he had had the best of experiences at the World Corporate Golf Challenge. “The event was terrific,” he said. “The only bad thing was the Scottish weather but it was all part of the adventure.
“The Scots had a bit of an advantage because they know their weather but they also played well. My partner and I congratulate them heartily.”
De Vere, Cameron House, Loch Lomond
Cameron House on Loch Lomond,
Tel: +44 (0)871 222 4681
Fax:+44 (0)871 222 4719
Note: It is advisable to book restaurants and spa treatments before your arrival.
The world-renowned bonnie banks of Loch Lomond conjure images of a majestic world of heather-dappled glens and roaring open fires. What better place to watch the theatre of the Highlands unfold than from Cameron House. Find your true love here. Whether it be fine dining, loch cruises, championship standard golf, spa breaks or simply chilling out with your new favourite 20 year old single malt, Cameron House on Loch Lomond may soon become a true love of yours. It is not just about the timeless splendour. Cameron House is legendary Scottish hospitality at its very finest and very warmest. There will always be someone on hand to impart age-old tales of clansmen or point you in the right direction in choosing the best red to go with your steak. You could say Cameron House is our true love. One day, I sincerely hope it will be yours too.
Stephen Carter OBE
Managing Director, Cameron House on Loch Lomond
Golf Course – The Carrick
The Carrick on Loch Lomond is the 71-par course designed by the acclaimed golf course designer Doug Carrick, this stunning course uses every inch of the dramatic landscape straddling the fault lines between the Scottish lowlands and highlands with nine holes set in each. Elevated holes offer spectacular views of Loch Lomond to the west and Ben Lomond to the north, this stimulating and challenging course for golfers of all abilities has played host to the Ladies Scottish Open and recently to the PGA Cup. It boasts a spectacular layout, offering a truly memorable day’s golf of magnificently maintained, with velvet greens and testy sloping fairways. Nine holes stick to classic Scottish Lowland along the banks of Loch Lomond, while the other nine make you climb to tackle Highland heath and tee off on sloping fairways. Beware the distraction of the loch as you traverse the various lagoons and an incredible 118 bunkers. Make use of the stunning practice facility and prepare yourself for the island green in the middle of a lagoon, the perfect test for the most accomplished of golfers. A truly breathtaking day’s golf deep in the Highlands. Down by the Loch. True love awaits all who rise to the challenge.
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