Jul 24th, 2018
Clarke and Campbell to captain Rugby Icons
Northern & Southern Hemisphere team led by Major champions
Major winners Darren Clarke and Michael Campbell will be leading teams of golf-playing rugby legends representing the Northern and Southern Hemispheres in a two-day matchplay contest at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club in Denham, England later this month (28 & 29 July).
The two golfing heavyweights will be competing during an Icons of Rugby golf tournament featuring 24 rugby icons, including no fewer than thirteen World Cup winners and nine British & Irish Lions, with a combined total of 1,860 caps for their respective nations.
Irish legends Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell and Keith Wood will compete in the Northern Hemisphere team also containing famous Welsh giants of rugby such as Sir Gareth Edwards, Jonathan Davies and Tom Shanklin. England’s 2003 World Cup winners Lawrence Dallaglio, Mike Tindall and coach Sir Clive Woodward are also playing with former star centre Jeremy Guscott in the Northern line up, along with Scotland’s world-class full back Stuart Hogg.
“I’m thrilled to be the captain of a team of golf-mad sportsmen containing so many Irish rugby greats, as well as famous names from the other Home Nations,” said former Ryder Cup captain and 2011 Open champion Clarke. “This will be my second ICONS-Series event after a wonderful time at The Belfry last year with football stars like Ryan Giggs and Pep Guardiola. The format is great and I know that the competition will be fierce among these rugby stars, so I’ll need all my captaincy experience to help the Northern team win the bragging rights,” he added.
New Zealander Campbell is looking forward to his first experience of being a team captain and the ICONS-Series contests. “I’ve met several of these rugby stars in Pro-am events over the years, so I can appreciate just how seriously they will be taking the golfing contest against the Northern Hemisphere team. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with them and putting usual rivalry aside to get the best from the guys from South Africa and Australia, as well as the former All Blacks,” said Michael, who won the 2005 US Open (beating Tiger Woods by two shots) and once dreamed of playing for the All Blacks himself.
Representing the Southern Hemisphere are All Black giants Zinzan Brooke, Grant Fox, Andrew Mehrtens and Christian Cullen; Springbok 2007 World Cup winners Bryan Habana, John Smit, Victor Matfield, Fourie Du Preez and coach Jake White; plus Wallaby 1999 World Cup winners George Gregan, Matthew Burke and Tim Horan.
All the competitors and the two Captains will appear in a Friday Pro-am (27 July), followed by paired match play contests over 9-holes on Saturday and Sunday, concluding with singles matches to decide the winning team. The event culminates in an exciting ‘live streamed’ Hole-In-One £1 million prize shoot out for charity features all the competitors, plus selected rugby fans.
Commenting on the appointment of the two Captains, ICONS-Series founder Thomas Brookes said: “Darren is one of the most recognisable faces in sport and is loved throughout the golfing world for his career achievements. It’s great that he’s returning to another ICONS event and Michael is renowned throughout the Southern Hemisphere as one of the great sporting ambassadors from the region. I’m sure they will both choose their pairings carefully and be focused on finding a winning strategy over the two days of competition.”
The Buckinghamshire championship parkland course was designed by legendary Ryder Cup Captain John Jacobs and has hosted many professional events, including the European Seniors Tournament of Champions hosted by Gary Player.