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Pepperell reigns supreme as records tumble at the 2014 Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship

After four days of outstanding entertainment that saw the course record broken and hole-in-ones galore, young European Tour star Eddie Pepperell secured the 2014 Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship title after a tense play-off with TP Tour Qualifier Jak Hamblett.194938PBXP3439

Eddie Pepperell, Farmfoods British Par 3 Champion 2104

Both finished on scores of seven-under-par, before Pepperell chipped in on the third play-off to take home the cheque for £25,000 and cap off a superb performance. In a record-breaking year, spectators flocked to Nailcote Hall to watch golfing legends, top professionals and great celebrities compete at the country’s foremost Par 3 event.

Leading this year’s all-star cast of golfing professionals and hosting the event for the sixth year running was the most successful Ryder Cup Captain of all-time, Tony Jacklin CBE. Jacklin is the face of the Championship, and has been instrumental in raising the profile of the event and helping it to expand each year. He welcomed back another former winning Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam OBE, as well as former Open Champion Paul Lawrie OBE, who made his debut at the Championship.

Organised by Champions (UK) plc, headline sponsors Farmfoods once again pledged a £100,000 prize fund to attract a field of elite players. As the Sky Sports cameras captured the action as it unfolded, a host of celebrities dusted off their golf clubs for the first Celeb-Am on Tuesday including: the great cricketing all-rounder, Sir Garfield Sobers; former Olympic swimmer, Mark Foster; comedian Jasper Carrott OBE; Strictly Come Dancing Judge, Len Goodman; and Ashes-winning cricketer, Matthew Hoggard MBE.

European Senior Tour star, Gary Wolstenholme MBE, emerged triumphant after the first day of action with an impressive round of four-under-par. Inspired by the performance of Wolstenholme, the Farmfoods 2 team were the winning team on the day with a combined total of -14. After the day's play concluded, Nailcote Hall hosted the first of three Gala Balls to raise money for Midlands' charity Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, and Jacklin welcomed all guests to the Championship with his inaugural welcome address. There was a delicious three-course meal and entertainment was provided by Tony Christie, who gave a rendition of his hit song ‘Is This the Way to Amarillo?’.

The Professional Championship began on Wednesday 6th August and was a closely-fought contest between golfing icons and current professionals. As well as Jacklin, Woosnam and Lawrie, the field featured Tommy Horton MBE, Gary Wolstenholme MBE, DJ Russell, Peter Baker, Paul Broadhurst and Eddie Pepperell. After the first day’s play, talented young golfer Jak Hamblett led by a single stroke with three past winners hot on his heels: Mark Mouland, Peter Baker and DJ Russell.

Always one of the highlights of the week, the Players' Ball, hosted by Geoff Miller OBE, took place on Wednesday evening and featured a Q&A session with Sir Garfield Sobers. The celebrated cricketer discussed his illustrious career which has seen him universally recognised as one of the greatest players of all-time for his skill and versatility.

Huge crowds gathered on Thursday for the conclusion of the Professional Championship and they were treated to an incredible golfing spectacle. With Hamblett leading at the start of play but yet to tee-off, Gary Wolstenholme and Paul Lawrie stormed into a joint lead of -6. Lawrie’s incredible round of -8 was a course record at Nailcote Hall and it is easy to see why he has the nickname ‘Chippy’ for his immaculate short game!

Huge crowds enjoyed the sunshine and spectacular golf, with Jak Hamblett forcing a play-off.

As the day wore on, a battle for first place ensued before Hamblett eventually tied the lead with Eddie Pepperell to force a play-off. Aspiring young talent Pepperell eventually came through on top by chipping in on the third play-off hole. In his victory speech, he paid tribute to the sponsors, the quality of the event and his supporters.

The day also saw an incredible four holes-in-one for Gary Wolstenholme, Tommy Horton, DJ Russell and Raymond Russell to take the total for the championship to six, after Tom Reid and Gary Emerson achieved the feat on Wednesday. The leading team was David Nelson partnered with former Masters Champion Ian Woosnam OBE. Carl Mason won the prize for the Super Seniors contest winning £5,000 for the second year running, and Luke Turbutt won the Norma C Herd Silver Salver for leading amateur closely followed by Tom Charley and Sarah Herd in second and third respectively.

Tommy Horton was one of six players to score a hole-in-one. He was joined by Gary Wolstenholme, Tom Reid, Gary Emmerson, Raymond Russell and 2012 champion DJ Russell.

Friday was the final day of the Championship and the second Celeb-Am tournament. The celebrities teeing off included: Coronation Street star, William Roache MBE; Rugby World Cup winner, Neil Back MBE; most-capped England footballer, Peter Shilton OBE; BBC Presenter Dan Walker; and Layer Cake actor Jamie Foreman. This time, former Ryder Cup Vice-Captain Peter Baker was the winner to cap off an impressive four days on the Cromwell Course.

The final Charity Gala Ball concluded proceedings in what was a truly first-class week of golfing action at Nailcote Hall. The Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship excelled itself once again and kept its place as one of the summer’s most enthralling outdoor events. Look out for the highlights programmes on Sky Sports and Challenge TV out soon.

It has now been confirmed that the 2015 Championship will take place on the 11th-14th August next year.

For further information about the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship 2014, call Champions (UK) plc on 08453 313031 or email blawrence@championsukplc.com

The Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship will be back at Nailcote Hall between the 11th-14th August 2015. Put it in your diary now!
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