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4 September 2004

Omega 19th Green Contest


After members of the public had been scattering balls across the Etang Long in Crans-Montana all week, it was finally time for some of the world's top pros to try their luck on the tough 19th green floating in the middle of the small lake.

Three teams were competing:

1) World number 3 Ernie Els with Iben Tinning from Denmark, who plays on the LPGA tour

2) Sergio Garcia with Italy's Diana Luna

3) Korea's K. J. Choi, who has had top ten placings in two of this year's Majors, with young Taiwanese prodigy Eric Lo, the youngest player ever to play on a European Tour event.

The competition was designed to push the players to the limits of their precision. Each player had three balls to hit towards the green at three different distances from the 19th tee. The first distance was 100 yards, which carried 1 point for hitting and staying on the green and 3 points for landing within the white circle surrounding the green. For the second distance and third distance of 155 and 205 yards respectively, the pros could score 1 point for hitting the green, 3 points for hitting the green and staying on it, and 10 points for a hole in one. The ladies and young Eric Lo, on the other hand, could score 2 points for hitting the green, 5 points for hitting the green and staying on it and the same 10 points for a hole in one.

The 200 yard distance proved particularly difficult, with only two balls making the green and the final results were close: Ernie Els and Iben Tinning finished with 18 points, just a whisker in front of Sergio Garcia and Diana Luna on 17, who were followed in third place by K. J. Choi and Eric Lo on 15. All three teams were presented with Omega watches for the gentlemen and Omega Bijoux necklaces for the ladies.