Stars have a ball at Celebrity Cup

Stars have a ball at Celebrity Cup

A host of stars from sport and showbiz thrilled bumper crowds in the sunshine as the Celebrity Cup teed off at Celtic Manor on Saturday.

Wales, captained by TV funny man Rob Brydon, were out of the blocks quickest when they beat Ireland in the morning but defending champions Scotland were back at the top of the overall standings after the second round.

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Beaten in both opening matches, Ireland are bottom of the pile but newcomer Brendan O’Carroll, the star of Mrs Brown’s Boys, was delighted to be playing in his first Celebrity Cup.

He said: “I play in charity golf events all over the world and this has been the best welcome I’ve ever had. It’s like coming home.

“We’re here to raise money for some great charities but the whole point is to have fun. The sun is out and I’m enjoying myself. We’re all having a ball.”

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Special guest Jesse Metcalfe, star of Dallas and Desperate Housewives, joined the players for a hole in one charity challenge under the guidance of former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher, as the competitors entertained a sizeable gallery of celebrity spotters and golf fans.

Spectators had to watch out for flying golf clubs as well as wayward golf balls as some of the celebrities sought to compensate for their lack of prowess on the greens with escalating banter to put off the opposition.

The thousands who turned up to watch were rewarded as a damp morning turned into a glorious summer’s day but the celebrities seemed to be having the most fun.

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Rob Brydon said: “We all had such a great time at the Celebrity Cup last year and I was delighted to be invited back to captain Wales again this year. Every time I play here at Celtic Manor they get it right, they really know what they are doing.

“I had the great pleasure of playing with Gareth Edwards today but my, is he still focused? I was there signing autographs and all the rest of it, and he was just really focused on his game.”

Packed full of past and present rugby players like skipper Gavin Hastings, Scotland backed up a narrow victory over England with another win over Ireland to take a slender one-point lead over Wales.

All four teams can still reach the final as the round robin matches conclude when Scotland play Wales and England meet Ireland on Sunday morning. The final and third place play-off follow in the afternoon.

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Before the second day action, the stars will rasie funds for the Caron Keating Foundation and the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign at a glittering gala dinner.

Tickets priced £22 adults are available on the gate.