This week the Saab Wales Open began at Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales, UK. Saab GB made arrangements for this sponsorship well before the cash crunch ever began, so before you start accusing it of being a huge waste of money, enjoy it for what it is– an extremely positive event that shows just how right Saab can get things when they try.
According to Managing Director at Saab GB, Charles Toosey, “Saab is proud to sponsor the Saab Wales Open and be a partner of PowerPlay Golf as they take this next step towards an even more exciting future for the sport.”
This was PowerPlay Golf’s inaugural Tour-style event, and it kicked off the Saab Wales Open earlier this week. It’s official title (you’ll like this) was called PowerPlay Golf driven by Saab: IGNITION. Here’s something you Swedes might like even more: it was won by rising Swedish star Caroline Hedwall, in a very tight finish where she won by 3 points over fellow Swede Helen Alfredsson. The tournament works kind of like Twenty20 Cricket if you’re familiar, where there’s more drama in a shorter event. Played at the same course where the Saab Wales Open is held, Celtic Manor Resort’s Twenty Ten Ryder Cup Course, PowerPlay Golf’s two-flag ‘risk and reward’ style was fought on nine carefully chosen holes.
Caroline Hedwall, a Ladies European Tour Rookie who a the day before won her first Tour title at the Allianz Slovak Ladies Open played brilliantly. She scored 3 PowerPlay birdies for 6 points each on the last three holes to lead her to this very very cool Saab trophy.
After her win, she told reporters, “That was a lot of fun. I was in the middle of the pack with three to play but knew I still had a chance with PowerPlays in reserve.” In addition to the cool Saab hardware, she won a £100,000 first prize, and she’s giving away 50% to the Swedish Golf Federation.
“I was very nervous on the first tee but playing with Ian Poulter and Helen Alfredsson was a great experience” she added.
Here’s where it gets fun. Saab has on display the full product range, and visitors are able to test drive any of them throughout the week. That is with the exception of one…
The headliner of the event (besides Ryder Cup stars Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter) is the Saab Phoenix. Also unfortunately while it’s on display, the new 9-5 SportCombi (called SportWagon in GB) isn’t available for test drives at the event before its launch in September.
And here’s another cool touch, Saab drivers are being treated to VIP parking and a hospitality pavilion during the PowerPlay Golf tournament by showing their Saab key fob. Talk about feeling like part of a premium brand, Saab getting you access to exclusive events? Genius and right out of the handbook of good marketing.
One of our readers Melissa A. watched the event on television today and told us in an e-mail, “Every time I look at the TV, I see ‘Saab!’ YAY! Looks good! There are first-rate players and reasonably good crowds on Day 1.”
Well done Saab GB!