Padraig Harrington coming to Czech Masters

The D+D REAL Czech Masters tournament takes place for the fifth time

The fifth D+D REAL Czech Masters tournament will feature Padraig Harrington. The Irish golfer has won three majors — two Open Championships and one PGA Championship.

“Once again we have managed to attract a player who … has long been one of the golf world's icons. A great golf holiday is waiting for us again,” Petr Dědek, the owner of the golf promotion firm Relmost, said in a press release.

The tournament will take place Aug. 23–26 at the Albatross Golf Resort near Prague. Aside from Harrington and the 2016 Masters winner Danny Willett, former world leader Lee Westwood, two-time major winner John Daly, and the popular Andrew "Beef" Johnston. the starting list also has players who will still be nominated for a European team for the upcoming Ryder Cup. One is Thomas Pieters, who won at Albatross in 2015 and a year later finished second, and English player Eddie Pepperell.

“The tournament is here to give Czech golfers a chance to play a world tour, and gain experience, motivation and self-esteem. Compared to the international levels of professional tournaments, we see that Czech men's golf has been rising in the last two seasons. Our promotional company Relmost has long been working to popularize and promote golf in the Czech Republic,” Dědek said.

For the next five years, the tournament will be connected to Raiffeisenbank.

“We are honored to be able to participate in the most prestigious golf events in the Czech Republic and make this attractive sport even more popular and accessible to the general public. Raiffeisenbank first combined its name with the D+D REAL Czech Masters tournament in 2015. With the quality of this exceptional sports business, we were pleased enough that we became the general partner for the next three years,” Igor Vida, CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Raiffeisenbank, said.

“All the time, with great pleasure, we see how the prestige of the tournament rise year after year, as well as the interest of the media and the number of visitors. This year, we have examined the added value of the cooperation between 2016 and 2018, and have subsequently decided to continue to become a general partner for the future. I'm so glad that we signed the contract for another five years and I look forward to this year's edition,” Vida said.

Tournament visitors will again be able to compete in a putting competition sponsored by Raiffeisenbank with a Kč 100,000 prize. “I wonder if this year someone with golf skills will be successful enough to win,” Vida added.

As in previous years, the best Czech player will win Kč 20,000, and the same amount from Raiffeisenbank will also be used to support the golf activities of a primary school represented by a young promising player or a player from the winning team of the Tuesday show on the Vltava River.

The traditional partner of the tournament is Škoda Auto.

“Škoda Auto for the third year is a partner of the prestigious tournament that year after year we try to support more intensively. Over the past two years, we have proven that through our attractive model palette, we are able to reach out to new golf enthusiasts. This year, during the Czech Masters, we will present an attractive new Škoda brand, prepare an interesting accompanying program for the whole family and add one special prize. The first player to play a hole-in-one on the 16th hole will leave in a new Škoda Superb SportLine in a metallic Dragon Skin version,” Škoda Auto marketing manager Petr Janeba said.

Part of the tournament village will be the golf academy organized by the Czech Golf Federation. Every beginner-level spectator will get a chance to try golf, and the more advanced can train under the supervision of experts.

“Five years have already begun to be a tradition. This year only confirms the growing interest of players to visit Prague and this tournament to play. It's not just a visit, it's going to be tough before the Ryder Cup nomination, so this year we can expect a very exciting golf week,” Czech Golf Federation president Zdeněk Kodejš said.

“I want to thank Mr. Dědek and his team for the courage and strength to organize the event. like everyone I wish for the same strength also in the future, so we can have great golfing experiences and continue to enjoy them,” he added.

“I am convinced that this tournament is motivation for our young players, but it is also an excellent representation of the Czech Republic, when the TV broadcast goes to dozens of countries around the world. And it is confirmed that thanks to these broadcasts and the increasing awareness of the top tournament in the Czech Republic, golf tourists are starting to arrive more,” he said.

For the third time in the last round on the ninth hole, the longest run will be measured. Matthew Fitzpatrick won two years ago with a 301-meter-long drive, and last year's champion was Christian Bräunig with 293 meters. They each won beer for the year from Pilsner Urquell.

“I am pleased that Pilsner Urquell as the founder of the Czech beer culture and as the ‘Official Beer of Czech Golf’ can take part in the building of the Czech Masters tradition as a world-class golf tournament and the most prestigious golf event in the Czech Republic,” Pilsner Urquell marketing director Grant McKenzie said.

The tournament will have two Pilsner Urquell-sponsored golf exhibitions. On Thursday, Aug. 23 from 2:30 pm, Danny Willett and Lee Westwood will be at the driving range, and on Friday, Aug. 24, at 2:30 pm it will be Padraig Harrington.

Admission to the Czech Masters is complimentary not only for registered golfers, but also for Raiffeisenbank bank card holders, Škoda cars owners with a key, Pilsner Urquell employees, and Nespresso card holders. Children under 15, seniors over 60 and disabled people have also free access.

In the tournament village, there will be food and merchandise. A children's playground will be available from Thursday to Sunday.

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