King of the Castle: Kuchar the Hero at historic venue

Matt Kuchar celebrates after receiving the Hero Challemge trophy at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Getty Images
Matt Kuchar celebrates after receiving the Hero Challemge trophy at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Getty Images
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Matt Kuchar was the ‘King of Edinburgh Castle’ after winning last night’s Hero Challenge at the historic venue.

He beat Charley Hoffman in an all-American final in the spectacular setting after Richie Ramsay, Ian Poulter, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Shubhankar Sharma had earlier been eliminated.

Shubhankar Sharma, Richie Ramsay, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ian Poulter, Charley Hoffman and Matt Kuchar tool part in the Hero Challenge at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Getty Images

Shubhankar Sharma, Richie Ramsay, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ian Poulter, Charley Hoffman and Matt Kuchar tool part in the Hero Challenge at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Getty Images

The event, which was beamed live to a TV audience around the world, was held on the castle esplanade, with players hitting from a raised platform at one end to a target 77 yards away at the other.

“To be in this historical venue is very special,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley, who has introduced this type of innovative event in golf, at the end of a challenge watched by around 4,000 fans.

Introduced at the British Masters in 2016 and also held at that event last year as well as the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, this was the first Hero Challenge to be staged at a city-centre venue. “Every shot was nervous and the energy from the crowd was so exciting,” said Kuchar, pictured left, after producing a string of brilliant shots to first beat Poulter in the semi-final, then defeat Hoffman in the final. All six players taking part are in the field for this week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane.