Stearne stuff: Wisbech golfer Giles reaches British Pro-Am regional final

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An amateur golfer from Wisbech is one step closer to playing with a star of the European Tour after winning a prestigious Bridgestone event on his club’s calendar.

Giles Stearne won Bridgestone UK tyre division’s DriveGuard Trophy at Tydd St Giles Golf & Country Club, which has put him on course for a round at the Pro-Am of the British Masters, supported by Sky Sports, in October.

The 18 handicapper, who went down from 19 following his DriveGuard Trophy win, won the stableford competition with 39 points, which now puts him on a journey to a regional final in June, followed by a Pro-Am appearance at the Bridgestone Challenge – a Challenge Tour event – at the end of August at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.

And if Giles is part of the winning team at Heythrop, he will then go on to play at the Pro-Am of the British Masters, supported by Sky Sports, at The Grove in October, where he will play with a household name of the sport.

Giles will also be hoping that his brother Tim from Sutton Bridge Golf Club will be joining him at The Grove, as the seven handicapper qualified for the London Golf Club regional round too, which takes place on June 20.

Giles said he was surprised about his tournament win: “It may have been the best round of golf I’ve ever played. The conditions were just perfect on the day.

“I’ve recently changed club and this is the first tournament I’ve entered with Tydd St Giles Golf & Country Club, hopefully I can continue this form!”

Bridgestone is embarking on an exciting golf sponsorship quite unique to the UK tyre industry, featuring a European Tour event partnership with the British Masters, supported by Sky Sports, the resurrection of an English based Challenge Tour tournament and a nationwide amateur competition with nearly 200 other clubs.

Giles’s success represents the ‘grass-roots’ element of Bridgestone’s three-pronged association with golf and he can now look forward to making more memories with the world’s largest tyre manufacturer.

He added: “I’ve just got to keep playing my steady game now and see how far I can go. It’s also great to be playing with my brother and a perfect experience to share.

“I hope I can continue my form and get far in the tournament. I’d love to have the chance to play with Danny Willett at the Grove!”

The decision to embark on a high profile golf sponsorship represents a significant change from more commonplace sports partnerships in the tyre industry, with Bridgestone keen to create a stage for amateurs of all abilities to realise their dreams and play the game on the highest stage.

Such an incentive was crucial in Bridgestone’s decision to enter the world of golf, as the tyre manufacturer attempts to engage with players in a tangible way that will live long in the memory.

The DriveGuard Trophy is free to enter and accessible to golfers of all ages and handicaps and is open to men, women and juniors.

It has been named after an innovative new range of Bridgestone tyres called DriveGuard, which allow drivers to maintain control after a puncture and safely continue for 50 miles and speeds up to 50mph, or a safe destination to organise a replacement.

Each club winner will go on to play in regional DriveGuard Trophy finals in June and July, with the triumphant golfers in the regional finals going on to play in the pro-am of the Bridgestone Challenge event itself in August.

And to link the sponsorships perfectly, the winners of the Bridgestone Challenge pro-am will then win a trip to the British Masters, supported by Sky Sports, to play in the official pro-am with some of the biggest and best names in the sport, in October.

For more information about Bridgestone’s involevment with the competition, visit www.bridgestone.co.uk