The first Nespresso Trophy UK Challenge Regional Qualifier took place at Woburn Golf Club yesterday, with four lucky golfers earning a place to meet Jose Maria Olazabal in Spain.
Some 40 pairs and 80 competitors arrived to take on the famed Marquess Course at one of England's most prestigious venues.
After a warm welcome from the Nespresso team and a hearty breakfast, the players - comprised of five Golf Monthly readers, six winners from Nespresso-sponsored club events and 29 Nespresso Club members and their guests - took to the course.
The weather was perfect and the Marquess was presented in immaculate condition, resulting in some low scores.
In the main competition, Diedrick Opperman and Simon Svender-Cain compiled an impressive 43-point total to take first place, one point clear of Steven Aylott and John Barnes.
Both pairs will travel to San Sebastian in October for an exclusive and unique 'Meet Jose Maria Olazabal' event, courtesy of Nespresso.
"It feels so surreal. I can't believe we're doing it. My hero is Seve Ballesteros and to meet his great friend in Spain is a boyhood dream come true," said Simon, who qualified through the Nespresso Club.
"I sent off one quick email after reading about the Nespresso Trophy and now I'm going to Spain! It's an unbelievable opportunity and I couldn't believe my luck when I found out. The Nespresso Club is just a great thing to be a part of. The course was in fantastic condition and the day has been superb from start to finish."
The runners up also echoed the sentiments of the winning pair.
"The weather was fantastic, the course was absolutely superb, we've been well looked after and it's been a brilliant day, from start to finish," said John.
Prizes were also awarded for men's and women's best stableford score, men's and women's longest drive and nearest the pin.
Sam Brown, with 35 points, took the men's title, with Gillian Lane also taking home a Woburn jumper.
Tina Kilmister hit her approach to four feet on the 16th to claim Nearest the Pin, while Jill Fitzgerald and Allan Dishington won a Woburn shirt for their respective longest drives.
The players were presented with their prizes following a two-course meal in Woburn's Russell Room.
After the ceremony, Martyn Kilmister, husband of Tina, summed up the general feeling of the Nespresso Trophy UK Challenge.
"Everything has been outstanding - the weather, the quality of the course, the organisation, everything."
"I'd recommend the Nespresso Club to everyone. In fact, I often do! It's been a fantastic day," added Jill.
The Nespresso Club provides members with some exceptional experiences, including the trip to San Sebastian and the chance to play with Jose
Maria during the BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am at Wentworth.
The final two Nespresso Trophy UK Challenge regional qualifiers take place at The Mere in Cheshire on July 2 and Foxhills on July 10.
Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email email@example.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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