Thrilling first day at Celebrity Cup

Category: Events, News, The 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.

The tightest ever race to reach Sunday afternoon's final sees only half a point separating the top three of the four teams after the first day's play.

Wales, captained by TV funny man Rob Brydon, took a surprise morning lead but were then pegged back by tournament favourites Scotland in the second round. The Scots take a very narrow lead into their final round robin match against bottom side Ireland while Wales take on old rivals England.

The biggest crowds of the morning cheered on football superstar Gareth Bale and rugby legend Sir Gareth Edwards.

Bale is used to running out in front of 80,000 fans at Real Madrid’s imposing Bernabeu Stadium but admitted to being more nervous in front of a few thousand golf fans.

“Heading onto the golf course today was a lot more nerve-racking, said Bale. “I’m completely out of my comfort zone but it’s really good fun. I was a little bit nervous stood there on the first tee but I actually hit a really great shot and then couldn’t find my ball!

"I’ve been playing with Sir Gareth Edwards, which has been great. To play with such a legend was an honour. The tournament has been great but I don’t think you’ll see me on the PGA tour anytime soon.”


Actor Phil Glenister, best known for his portrayal of tough cop Gene Hunt in Life on Mars, was more forthright about the pressure of playing in front of a gallery.

“I am bum-clenchingly nervous,” he admitted before teeing off. “I prefer to go down the Bubba Watson route and have plenty of noise on the first tee. I hate that moment when it all goes silent, it’s terrifying.”

Glenister and fellow actor Andrew Howard were Wales’ best performers and showbiz duo Rob Brydon and Gethin Jones were also winner against Ronan Keating and Keith Duffy, who almost missed his tee time after a heavy night. 

Scotland were narrow victors by a single hole over England in the morning’s other match. With two of the three games tied at the finish, legendary Liverpool footballers Kenny Dalglish and Celebrity Cup skipper Alan Hansen pipped Rugby World Cup winner Mike Tindall and Zoe Hardman to make the difference.


Other stars representing their nations in this weekend’s Celebrity Cup include TV presenters Vernon Kay and Ben Shephard, Irish singers Ronan Keating and Brian McFadden and rugby player turned Strictly star, Thom Evans.

Autographs, selfies and banter were the order of the day as the celebrity players entertained the galleries on a glorious day of sunshine.

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

Tickets are available on the gate. 

Reader comments (5)

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Darren Jones 9.21pm on 04 July 2015

A truly wonderful day today with my son Rhys at the Celebrity Cup at the fabulous Celtic Manor! all the 'celebs' were down to earth and engaging with the crowds, great to see that as well as the humour and competitive spirit. We ended the day, with lots of happy memories, tired, sun-burnt and happy...diolch!

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Keith Davies 12.32pm on 06 July 2015

Great event - attended Saturday, Premium Lounge a brilliant idea - and the Celtic Manor Representatives were brilliant - in the heat all day and they didn't look a bit uncomfortable - amazing team!. Please can you put the actual final scores up on the site so we can see the result in full. Thanks. Absolutely certain to do both days next year.

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Lynda Raubenheimer 9.45pm on 10 July 2015

What a wonderful day! Organised so well by Celtic Manor. Facilities were plentiful and easy to access. The Celebrities were friendly and the day allowed spectators to interact with them and have photographs taken with them and autographs. Well done to all the staff and especially the greenkeepers - the course looked fantastic! Thanks for a lovely day!

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About the author

Paul Williams
Paul Williams PR Manager

Paul joined the Celtic Manor Resort in 2007 having previously worked in newspaper journalism, most recently as assistant sports editor at the Western Mail in Cardiff. Responsible for all aspects of media liaison at the resort, he wishes he had more time to improve his golf handicap of 14 and polish his excruciating puns on Twitter.

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