Westwood wins the Hickory Challenge in Crans-Montana

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Lee Westwood took home the cow-bell trophy for the “Turn Back Time” two-hole hickory challenge after the third round of the OMEGA European Masters.

Westwood faced stiff competition from Paolo Quirici, 2013 World Hickory Champion, Danny Willett and Miguel Ángel Jiménez.

All four players, dressed in 1930s plus fours and newsboy caps, played the 10th and 18th holes (bogey four and five respectively) of Golf-Club Crans-sur-Sierre with traditional hickory clubs.

The two-hole challenge was full of dramas from the outset. Willett was the first to tee off landing his ball in the bunker but recovered with a beautiful shot on to the green and then made par.

Westwood finished the 10th with a superb putt to share the lead with Jiménez and Willett, celebrating by doing a little dance.

Jiménez was unlucky off the 18th and was forced to attempt a Seve-style “Great Escape” from behind the fence although this didn’t quite go according to plan and left him with a disappointing bogey.

Play ended with Westwood and Willett facing each other in a play-off, which was a nearest-to-the-pin challenge from the drop zone on the 18th in front of a packed grand stand.

After both players’ balls didn’t make the green - Willett’s heading off to the side of the green and Westwood’s dropping into the water - they attempted the shot again and Westwood got the closest for victory.

Westwood described the challenge: “It was great fun; a completely different feel to what we’re used to normally. You have to wait for it a little bit longer. The challenge was a good finish to a great day of golf.”

The event was set up to commemorate the 70 years that the OMEGA European Masters has been hosted in Crans-Montana, making it the longest running golf tournament at the same venue in Europe.

The vintage clothing and hickory golf clubs were a nod to 1939, which was the first year that the tournament was played at Golf-Club Crans-sur-Sierre.