Two more major names have been confirmed to play at this year’s Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship; the most successful male golfer that Italy has produced Constantino Rocca and 2005 US Open winner Michael Campbell.
Rocca won five titles on the European Tour including the prestigious Volvo PGA Championship. In 1993, he became the first Italian to play in the Ryder Cup and also hit only the third hole-in-one in Ryder Cup history at Oak Hill. In 1995, he finished runner-up at The Open after a four-hole playoff with John Daly. Rocca followed this up with two further Ryder Cup appearances in 1995 and 1997, both of which ended in victory for the European team. The Italian secured his only singles win in the latter tournament against none other than Tiger Woods to help Europe to the cup.
Rocca made his European Seniors Tour debut at the 2007 Sharp Italian Seniors Open, and won his first senior tournament two weeks later at the Irish Seniors Open.
Also playing in this year’s Professional Championship, New Zealander Michael Campbell finished in the top 10 on the European Tour Order of Merit before his breakthrough year in 2005. Missing only one cut in 16 tournaments, he finished in the top six of both the Open Championship and PGA Championship.
After the first three rounds of the 2005 US Open at Pinehurst, defending champion Retief Goosen was ahead by three strokes but suffered a spectacular collapse on the final day. Campbell shot a final round of one under par – holding off the challenge of Tiger Woods who was chasing his tenth Major win – to become only the second New Zealander to win a Major title. Later that year, he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour for his triumph.
Both Campbell and Rocca are formidable players to add to the roster of stars who will compete for the title of Farmfoods British Par 3 Champion 2016. As testament to the event’s success, the prize fund has been increased by 20% to a record €150,000, with the winner taking home a cheque for €50,000.
Just some of the big names who have taken part in the past include Paul Lawrie OBE, Ian Woosnam OBE, Sam Torrance OBE, Eddie Pepperell, Tommy Fleetwood, Marc Warren, Charley Hull and reigning Masters Champion Danny Willett. The Championship will also welcome back Ryder Cup player and 2015 British Par 3 Championship winner Barry Lane to defend his title this year.
The event also plays host to two Celeb-Am days graced by some of the nation’s best loved TV and sports personalities. Previous attendees include Manchester United legends Sir Alex Ferguson CBE, Peter Schmeichel MBE and Dwight Yorke, former F1 world champion Damon Hill OBE, Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman, England football superstar Peter Shilton OBE, Ashes winning cricketers Matthew Hoggard MBE and Jonny Bairstow, boyband stars Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden, and comedian Jasper Carrott OBE.
This year’s event will take place 26th-29th July 2016 and spectators are more than welcome to attend any or all days of the Championship which is covered every year by Sky Sports.
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