Hero Challenge champion
Reed begins Scottish Open week on winning note
US Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed is the new Hero Challenge champion after defeating Tyrrell Hatton in a close-run final at Dundonald Links ahead of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
Over 3,500 fans packed around the specially constructed par 3 on the 18th hole, as eight of the stars of this week’s tournament gathered for the exciting one-hole knockout contest.
Reed emerged victorious after three head-to-head rounds, triumphing over a field that also included Open champion Henrik Stenson, reigning Hero Challenge champion Alex Levy, home favourite Russell Knox, world No. 18 Matt Kuchar, India’s Anirban Lahiri and two-time European Tour winner Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Both Reed and Hatton struck fine tee shots as they faced off in the final on a beautiful evening on the North Ayrshire coast. Hatton looked confident after hitting his shot to within ten feet but Reed went even better with a shot measured at four feet seven inches from the pin, and he had his hands on the trophy after Hatton failed to hole his putt.
Reed said: “Any time you can hit some quality golf shots and have some fun with the fans is always a lot of fun. Playing against some of my fellow Ryder Cuppers made it feel like 2016 all over again.”
Television hosts Vernon Kay and Kirsty Gallacher presented the action, which also included a celebrity nearest-the-pin shoot out, with former Westlife singer Brian McFadden emerging victorious over BBC breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty, actor James Nesbitt and former Scotland rugby player Thom Evans.
The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is part of the Rolex Series, a premium category of tournaments on the Race to Dubai with minimum prize funds of $7 million. It is the fourth Rolex Series event of 2017 and is being staged in Ayrshire the week before The Open at Royal Birkdale.