By Sam Tremlett
The Southern Hemisphere team staged a dramatic comeback in the singles to secure victory.
Southern Hemisphere Win Inaugural Icons Of Rugby Golf Tournament
In a final day reminiscent of Brookline in 1999 and Medinah in 2012, the final day of the inaugural Icons of Rugby golf tournament saw a dramatic comeback in the singles.
The team in question was the Southern hemisphere who secured seven and a half points from the 12 singles matches to win by 18.5 points to 17.5.
Played at The Buckinghamshire Golf Club, some of the biggest names ever to play the game competed in their second favourite sport over nine holes in various formats ending with 12 singles matches on Sunday afternoon to decide the winning team.
The Northern hemisphere had a 13-11 lead going into the final session but George Gregan, Christian Cullen, Fourie Du Preez, Grant Fox, Matt Burke, John Smit and Victor Matfield all secured points against Luke Fitzgerald, Sir Clive Woodward, Brian O'Driscoll, Mike Tindall, Jeremy Guscott, Martyn Williams and Stuart Hogg respectively.
Bryan Habana picked up a crucial half point against Mike Catt and the comeback was complete.
Southern hemisphere captain Michael Campbell said jokingly, “I guess the Northern Hemisphere boys are used to the feeling of losing against the Southern boys. I’m delighted, I really am. I’ve enjoyed every minute of the Icons of Rugby. It’s my first time being a captain it’s been great to make so many friends on both teams. We’ve all bonded together which has been great, maybe the North boys won in the bar, but I’m happy to be holding the trophy.”
Sam Torrance, former Ryder Cup winner and captain of the Northern hemisphere said, “I take my hat off to Michael and the boys, it was a great day’s play and they played incredible golf this afternoon. Every bit of this event has been fantastic apart from the losing part! I want to say thank you to my team who have been incredible both days, but we just didn’t get the luck in the singles.”
It was a very successful event, so much so that another Icons of Rugby is being planned next year with a Rugby World Cup Special held in Japan in October 2019.
“The first Icons of Rugby has been a tremendous success and I thank the players for making the event a great spectacle,” said Thomas Brookes, Founder of the ICONS-Series. “The golf has been superb, I thank the crowds for coming out to cheer on their rugby heroes. The planning starts now for the next ICONS of Football next year.”
The Icons of Football will return in 2019 in Spain, followed by the first Icons of Cricket next July back at The Buckinghamshire.
To take a look at all the scores from the event click here.
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