Matt Kuchar of the United States, who finished second at the British Open last year, exhibited remarkable accuracy in finding the ‘Bull’s Eye’ more than once as he won the first ‘Hero Challenge’ of 2018.
Played against the spectacular backdrop of the Edinburgh Castle, the fun and fast night Golf Contest – Hero Challenge, saw more than 4,000 vocal and enthusiastic spectators turn-up to cheer the players.
The six competing stars – Kuchar, Ian Poulter, Charley Hoffman, Shubhankar Sharma, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Richie Ramsay – thrilled the crowd at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s extraordinary amphitheater in front of Edinburgh Castle.
Kuchar beat countryman Charley Hoffman in the all-American final as the players teed off from the specially erected platform with the target 80 metres away on the Castle Esplanade.
Following his victory, Kuchar said, “I’m looking forward to taking this Hero Challenge trophy home – my kids will love it!” Keith Pelley, CEO of the European Tour, presented the Trophy to him.
India’s Shubhankar Sharma, grouped alongside Poulter and Cabrera-Bello, was eliminated at the group stage after failing to stop the ball inside the marked circles in any of his five attempts. From the other group, Hoffman and Kuchar came through as local man Ramsay exited.
Kuchar gave an indication of things to come when he beat Poulter with the help of the first ‘Bull’s eye’ of the night in the second semi-final. Earlier Hoffman accounted for defending Scottish Open champion Cabrera-Bello in the first semi-final.
In the final, Kuchar landed the first ball in the outer circle and the second in the ‘Bull’s Eye’ before giving up his third shot to the host, Vernon Kay for fun, while he took the microphone.
The unique event, fifth in the series, which started with the British Masters in 2016, was broadcast live on Sky Sports and DSport in India and it attracted over 500,000 viewers to the official live stream on Twitter.
Kuchar, a top draw at the Scottish Open this week and next week’s Open, said: “It is just an amazing venue, what a cool backdrop. The amount of fans and the energy that was here tonight just made it really exciting to be part of this event.
“I think there was some luck involved in the bull’s eyes. I am surprised it went my way as much as it did. It was the luck of the bounce a little bit but I certainly had the distance and direction looking good. It was awfully nice to end it with a ‘Bulls eye’ there at the end.”
The Hero Challenge debuted at the British Masters in 2016 and after the successful debut of this unique night-golf event, Hero MotoCorp – the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters – reaffirmed its commitment to innovation on the European Tour by extending the Hero Challenge by another three years and to three marquee events – the British Masters, Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.