Freddie triumphs in Bat & Ball Challenge

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The ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship was launched in style yesterday by De Vere Club Ambassadors Freddie Flintoff and Harry Redknapp.

The pair were joined by some of the headline players in this weeks’ championship, going head-to-head in the 2nd Annual Freddie’s Cricketers vs. Harry’s Cricketers: Bat & Ball Challenge.

Having invited some of their fellow football and cricket stars to Slaley Hall, the pair were joined by European Senior Tour stars such as Sam Torrance, Mark James and Barry Lane to headline the pro-am event over the stunning Hunting Course.

The fun event saw Freddie’s team of cricketers emerge victorious, and successfully launched the highly-anticipated European Senior Tour event which gets underway tomorrow morning.

Both team captains have been members of the pioneering flexible golf membership since last year and launched the inaugural ‘Bat & Ball’ Challenge at Slaley Hall last year, with Harry’s footballers winning the inaugural event.

The tide turned this year, with Freddie’s cricketers producing strong performances to emerge victorious and claim the 2012 trophy. The Ryder Cup pro-am format used in the ‘Bat & Ball Challenge’ sees one footballer paired with a Senior Tour star, going head-to-head with a cricketer and another professional.

1999 Ryder Cup captain Mark James, defending PGA Seniors Champion Andrew Oldcorn, double 2012 Senior Tour winner Gary Wolstenholme teamed with the likes of Manchester United legend Dwight Yorke and Newcastle United defender Ryan Taylor to take on former cricket stars Philip De Freitas and Neil Fairbrother.

With the match tied at 3 matches all, count-back was needed to split the two teams, where Freddie’s cricketers prevailed by 5 holes.

“It’s been a real treat being here at Slaley Hall and see up close the way the pro’s play the game; it was an incredible morning,” commented De Vere Club Ambassador, Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff.

“The course is in fantastic condition and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that it’s been a great day. I want to say unlucky to Harry who’s been an absolute gent throughout, and thanks to everyone for turning out and lending their support.

The ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship starts today on the stunning Hunting course at Slaley Hall. Spectators are welcome throughout the week of the tournament, with tickets available to download for free from www.devere.co.uk/golf