The husband-and-wife pairing of Martin and May Britovsek savoured their ‘best Monday ever’ after seeing off competition from across the country to win the inaugural PING Scottish Mixed Championship at glorious Gleneagles.
On a beautiful day in Perthshire, enjoyed by 40 club pairings, the East Kilbride duo won a ‘final like no other’ as the unique free-to-enter national event for club members came to a fitting conclusion over the superb Queen’s Course.
Promoting the great benefits of mixed golf, the showpiece final offered the perfect mix of fantastic prizes from PING, world-class hospitality within the ‘glorious playground’ of The Gleneagles Hotel and the coveted title of PING Scottish Mixed Champions.
The Britovsek’s were blown away by the experience and clearly thrived in the beautiful surroundings at the next 2019 Solheim Cup venue, posting a brilliant 47-point haul in the mixed stableford handicap format to walk away with prize vouchers from PING and Gleneagles and the new silverware.
Having moved to the central belt from the Highlands four months ago, the Britovseks swapped unpacked boxes for birdies to win their local club event and continued their good form in the final to beat Ladybank duo Marion Campbell and Mark Johnston by a point with Hayston’s Sarah-Jane Shovlin and Brian O’Connor taking third spot on 45 points.
BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty, a self-confessed golf addict and regular competitor in mixed events, was on hand to present prizes to the leading five pairings and the nearest the pin winners. Each of the 80 finalists were rewarded with a PING Scottish Golf bag, produced exclusively for the final.
Martin said: “It’s a fantastic honour to have won the first event, certainly something we didn’t expect. May played very well and when she wasn’t in a hole, I was there, so we worked well as a team – as married couples perhaps don’t always do!
“PING, Gleneagles and Scottish Golf have done the event proud, they all did a great job, while East Kilbride has been hugely supportive as a club and I’m sure they will be delighted for us.”
May added: “It was the best Monday ever! Who would not want to win a day out here? You don’t have to win a prize, it’s just such an honour to come to Gleneagles and play in the glorious surroundings.”
Marion, from Ladybank, said: “We had a fantastic day, the course was absolutely stunning and scenery superb. It was a well organised event and we’ll be trying again next year to go one better.”
Brian, from Hayston, commented: “We had a great time. We dovetailed really well and the course was perfect. To go to the venue, play good golf and get good weather was just brilliant.”
The exciting new competition saw male and female golfers of all ages and abilities come together at local level from clubs across the country, celebrating Scottish Golf’s new three-year partnership with PING. Gleneagles provided a fitting venue, given its future staging of the next Solheim Cup. The event was created by PING’s founder, Karsten Solheim, back in 1990 and is now widely regarded as the biggest event in ladies’ golf.
John Clark, Managing Director of PING Europe, said: “We were delighted with the staging of the first-ever final of the PING Scottish Mixed Championship at such an iconic venue. We believe the mixed format has an important role to play in growing golf in the future.
“Along with Scottish Golf and Gleneagles, we are very proud to be supporting the club game in Scotland in the countdown to the 2019 Solheim Cup and PING Junior Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.”
Gary Silcock, Director of Golf at The Gleneagles Hotel, added: “The PING Scottish Mixed Championship is another exciting tournament for Gleneagles in the lead up to the resort hosting the 2019 Solheim Cup, promoting family-friendly golf. We are delighted all the competitors enjoyed a great day over The Queen’s Course and congratulate the winners from East Kilbride.”
Look out for action and interviews from the PING Scottish Mixed Championship final on Scottish Golf’s social media and digital channels, while clubs will once again be invited to host a qualifying event next season with the chance for two of their members to win a place in the 2018 final.