July 12, 2017: Patrick Reed is the new Hero Challenge champion, after defeating Tyrrell Hatton in a close-run final at Dundonald Links ahead of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Anirban Lahiri defeated Matt Kuchar to reach the semifinals of the showpiece event on the sidelines of the Scottish Open.
Over 3,500 fans packed around the specially constructed par three on the 18th hole, as eight of the stars of this week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open gathered for the exciting one-hole knockout contest.
American star Reed emerged victorious after three head-to-head rounds, triumphing over a field that also included The Open Champion Henrik Stenson, reigning Hero Challenge Champion Alex Levy, home favourite Russell Knox, world number 17 Matt Kuchar, India’s number one Anirban Lahiri and two-time European Tour winner Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Both Reed and Hatton struck fine tee shots as they faced off in the final on a beautiful evening on the North Ayrshire coast. Hatton looked confident after hitting his shot to within ten feet, but Ryder Cup star Reed went even better, with a shot measured at four feet seven inches from the pin, and he had his hands on the trophy after Hatton failed to hole his putt.
“Any time you can hit some quality golf shots and have some fun with the fans is always a lot of fun. Playing against some of my fellow Ryder Cuppers made it feel like 2016 all over again.”, said Reed.
Television hosts Vernon Kay and Kirsty Gallacher presented the action, which also included a celebrity nearest the pin shoot out, with former Westlife singer Brian McFadden emerging victorious over BBC breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty, actor James Nesbitt and former Scotland rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing star Thom Evans.
The event was broadcast live on Sky Sports as well as across the European Tour’s global broadcast platforms and on www.europeantour.com.
Top seed Stenson was the first to exit, after finding the bunker in the opening round, allowing Levy to progress.
Knox was initially awarded victory against Reed after they both parred the hole, but with any tied matches being decided by the tee shot nearest the pin, Knox’ shot was ruled out as it hand landed in the bunker.
Cabrera Bello and Kuchar also crashed out at the first hurdle, with Hatton defeating the Spaniard by holing a 10-foot birdie and Lahiri taking advantage of Kuchar finding the water.
The inaugural Hero Challenge winner Levy then lost out to Reed in the semi-finals, with Hatton defeating Lahiri.
The Hero Challenge made its debut at last year’s British Masters supported by Sky Sports, as Frenchman Levy triumphed in the sudden-death shoot-out hole under floodlights and in front of 3,000 fans.
Following that successful opening event, the Hero Challenge has returned with three editions in 2017, firstly at this week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, before returning to the British Masters supported by Sky Sports at Close House and then finishing at the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates.