EWUB Golf Cup Results of golf tournament Russia-Luxembourg
Luxembourg hosted last year the first international golf tournament organized by the East-West United Bank. After the victory of the Russian team in Luxembourg in 2018, the EWUB Golf Cup 2019 was held in Russia for the first time. The format of the amateur competition EWUB Golf Cup is inspired by the Ryder Cup, one of the most prestigious golf championships in the world. This year on 19 and 20 July, 22 players of the Luxembourg team against 22 players from Russia, with a maximum handicap of 32, defended the honour of their countries during two days.
Looking ahead, we say that the Russian team won, but the friendly atmosphere, excitement and fun went to everyone equally.
There were more than one hundred applications placed in Russia to enter the team. It means that the tournament’s concept is welcomed among Russian golfers.
Players of different nationalities - from Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Holland, France, Italy, and Macedonia, formed Luxembourg team. Sergey Pchelintsev, Managing Director/CEO of East-West United Bank, and Hans-Ulrich Hugli, a member of the board of directors of the bank, participated as players for Luxembourg side.
On the first day, the participants mastered the scenic golf courses of the Agalarov Estate & Country Golf Club, and the second day was spent on the spacious “green” of the Forest Hills Golf Club. All ended with a gala dinner, where players, partners and clients of the bank exchanged impressions of a rich two-day program, and the organizers distributed the awards for winners.
Luxembourg's Charles Gosselin, Managing Director of Cluster Maritime Luxembourgeois and Benoit de Hults, Managing Director and Chairman Capital at Work arrived in Moscow for the first time and were delighted with both the capital and the tournament. Mr. de Hults (the captain of Luxembourg team) admitted that when he was going to Russia, acquaintances and friends were surprised that he was going to play golf, and not just as a tourist. “Are there any golf clubs in Russia?” - they wondered. It turned out that the clubs are not just there, but for the most part, in terms of equipment and comfort, they surpass European ones. According to Mr. Hults, the tournament such as EWUB Golf Cup improve the image of Russia in the international golf community.
Mr Pchelintsev confirmed that many European golf clubs look more modest compared to Russian ones. However, he expressed regret that in Russian golf clubs there are not as many players as it can be. According to various estimates, there are about 10,000 golfers in Russia for a country with a population of 144 million persons. In the club Agalarov, for example, where membership can be purchased for 300 thousand dollars, there are in total about 150 members.
For comparison: in a small Luxembourg there are four large clubs and in each of them there are more than a thousand players, while in total, about 500,000 people live in the country. However, the popularization of golf in Russia is in full swing. “I hope that this sport will lose its elitism in Russia, many Russians will be able to play it, and our team will face more and more resistance. The main thing is that we do not come to a situation when we run out of Luxembourg golfers,” Sergey Pchelintsev finished with a laugh.
Luxembourgers shared also their impressions from the golf courses. According to them, the landscape in “Agalarov” is picturesque, very well-groomed, but less natural in comparison with Forest Hills, where the guests especially appreciated "wild" nature. The weather, periodically forcing players to get under umbrellas, did not stop the tournament. “In Luxembourg, rain is a common occurrence, we are used to it,” said Mr Gosselin.
Nevertheless, the main thing that the guests from Luxembourg remembered was the friendly atmosphere and the spirit of the team. Europeans treat golf rather as a pleasant pastime, therefore they got a little confused when they realized that there was a real battle ahead. One of Luxembourg players admitted with a smile that if in Agalarov they still had the opportunity not only to play, but also to admire the surroundings, then on the second day everyone concentrated on the game and did not particularly look around. However, this did not prevent the communication between the members of the same flight who exchanged jokes and became good friends by the end of second day. “We have already realized that we need high level players for Luxembourg team and we will start preparing for the next year tournament already now. We will show to Russian golfers what we can do! ”- Mr. Hults promised laughing.
The player of Russian team, Maxim Fursov, who had already played in Luxembourg for the first edition of EWUB Golf Cup, said that the fight was almost equal, just luck was on the Russian side this time. Several members of the Russian team helped foreign guests to navigate the fields unfamiliar to them.
Sergey Pchelintsev, CEO / Managing Director of East-West United Bank has also shared his impressions on the game. On the question of whether he sees the difference between the Luxembourg and Russian teams, Mr Pchelintsev replied negatively: “On both sides there was a very interesting struggle, everyone tried to show the best they could do. In general, the Russian team was more trained and prepared. The good news is that the atmosphere on the field was friendly; no one took the game as the last battle. I saw how, by the end of the competition, people became friends - they exchanged phone numbers, invited each other as guests. ”
The gala dinner began in a very sporty way - with a competition for the nearest to the pin strike. To get a bottle of elite French cognac, guests had to hit the ball in the way it fell as close as possible to the flag located at a distance of 67 meters. One by one, all the participants of the dinner took the clubs in their hands and sent the ball in the right direction. As Sergey Pchelintsev rightly noted, no one really tried to play only for the prize, but for the competitive spirit. As a result, the closest ball to the flag (17 centimetres from it) was the one of Luxembourg team player Mateo Soffritti.
Special prises were awarded to the players in individual categories and most of pthem went to the representatives of the Luxembourg team.
The results of 1st day personal nomination:
Longest Drive Man — Adam Garwood, Luxembourg;
Close to Pin Man — Benoit de Hults, Luxembourg;
Close to Pin Lady — Elke Egard– Berndroth, Luxembourg.
The results of 2nd day personal nomination:
Longest Drive Lady — Olga Pchelintseva, Luxembourg;
Close to Pin Lady — Olga Pchelintseva, Luxembourg.
After personal nominations and awards, the Russian team came out to receive EWUB Golf Cup, Russia has won with a score of 45:21. However, the rivals did not go home empty handed. The Russian artist who is passionate about the golf prepared for the team consolation rewards: a painting in which she tried to express all her feelings for golf, and plates with a similar pattern.
East-West United Bank has prepared symbolic presents for everyone delivered directly from Luxembourg to serve as a good memory about the tournament.
For most Russian golfers it was a first time to hear about Luxembourg and find out its location in Europe.
On the other hand, many members of Luxembourg team discovered Moscow for the first time in their lives. The organizers of the tournament did not want players to leave the country without a tour of the capital. Two hour personalized tour took the guests from Luxembourg to the most famous streets of Moscow and everyone enjoyed it.
The second edition of EWUB Golf Cup is over now but the friendship between two countries has just started. The bank is proud to serve as a bridge between two cultures and two worlds.
“In the tournament, as in its main activity, our bank acts as a link between Luxembourg and Russia. The competitive spirit arriving from sport did not prevent creating a friendly atmosphere that helped to reinforce personal and business contacts between players and countries” - said Andrey Zaitsev, Head of EWUB Private Banking.
Francis Parisis, Director of IQEQ Luxembourg, mentioned that he had found many new friends and truly enjoyed the tournament and the atmosphere around it. He is already looking forward for the next year.
The next, third tournament EWUB Golf Cup, will be held in Russia in 2020.