Volunteers above par as inaugural JCB golf event proves ‘fantastic success’

Winner Alex Cejka and volunteer Hayley Thompson

JCB has hailed the success of the inaugural JCB Championship, featuring many of golf’s legendary players, which was won by German professional Alex Cejka at the weekend.

The firm paid tribute to 150 volunteers after more than 7,000 spectators flocked to the JCB Golf & Country Club, which is located next to the JCB World HQ at Rocester, for the star-studded event.

The volunteers took on a host of duties including course marshals, parking attendants, scoreboard attendants, TV assistants, and chaperones.

The competition was part of the international Legends Tour, featuring stars of the game including Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie, Sandy Lyle and John Daly.

Colin Montgomerie

It was a rare opportunity for golfing enthusiasts to visit the 240-acre parkland course, as well as watch 80 international golfers competing for the £600,000 prize fund. All profits from the event are to be donated to the JCB NSPCC Platinum Jubilee Appeal.

For one volunteer, it proved a weekend to remember. Henry Moriarty (19) of Denstone found himself caddying for Swiss golfer Andre Bossert and also putting a roof over his head!

The former Denstone College student had signed up to be a caddy for the Championship, however his assigned golf pro was unable to play. Henry stayed on as a volunteer helping with preparations and his dedication was rewarded – for joining the line-up at the last minute, Andre Bossart had no caddy and nowhere to stay.

Andre Bossert and Henry Moriarty

Henry explained, “I was helping on the driving range and chatting to one of the caddies who asked if I knew anyone who could step in, so I jumped at the chance. The JCB course is amazing and I’ve played it four or five times so I could advise him and give him some guidance.

“He is a fantastic golfer – his attention to detail and professionalism were incredible to see and I’ve learned a lot from watching and talking to him. He was also a great person to get to know – he stayed with us throughout the competition, ate with my family for the first night and then invited me to join him for the players’ barbecue and meals each evening.

“It has definitely been an unexpected experience but it has been brilliant for me and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Andre finished the JCB Championship in 32nd place out of 80 competitors on two over par.

JCB Golf & Country Club general manager Mark Addison said, “The JCB Championship has been a fantastic success. It was our first international three-day competition and it was brilliant to be able to welcome golf enthusiasts and the local community to the course.

“The 150 volunteers and our amazing staff were key to the whole event’s success and we cannot thank them enough. This has really put the JCB Golf and Country Club on the international tournament map and the professional golfers all praised the course, the hospitality, staff and organisation of the whole weekend.”

Alex Cejka triumphed on11 under par over the three rounds. For the full list of final scores visit www.jcbchampionship.co.uk.