Golf: Ronan Rafferty backs teams to thrive

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RONAN Rafferty, the former Ryder Cup player who is Tony Jacklin’s co-host at this week’s World Corporate Golf Challenge at The Carrick, is expecting a highly competitive event.

“Businessmen enjoy pressure,” said the former Walker and Ryder Cup player. “They’re used to it in the work-place and when it comes to having to hole a six-footer they can cope.”

This is the 20th anniversary of the renowned World Corporate Golf Challenge and the first time that the finals are being staged in Scotland. Previously, the finals have visited such coveted venues as the Le Touessrok GC in Mauritius and the Fancourt Golf Resort in South Africa.

Up to and including this year, over a million golfers have competed for the chance to represent their company and country, with teams in question having so far included England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Brazil, Sweden, Finland, India and Mauritius.

Chris Aitken and William MacMillen from Rolls Royce PLC comprise this year’s Scottish side who have played their way into the WCGC final at The Carrick when the Portuguese team will be the defending champions.

Designed by Doug Carrick and overlooking Loch Lomond, “the most beautiful water-hazard in the world”, the course has hosted both a Ladies’ Scottish Open and a PGA Cup.

“We are thrilled to be bringing our cosmopolitan collection of players to The Carrick and to Cameron House for the 20th edition of the event,” said Jose Guerra, chairman of the WCGC. “I think we can safely say that they are going to be impressed.”

Players will practise today and tomorrow before getting down to business the following day. The two-strong teams will combine for 18 holes of Stableford play on each of Thursday and Friday.

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