London, England: Stars of the European Tour will go head-to-head under floodlights in an innovative, fast-paced one-hole knockout contest – the Hero Challenge.
Featuring eight players, in seven quick-fire head-to-head straight knockout matches, the last man standing will be crowned champion, with the entire contest concluded in less than an hour at The Grove.
The inaugural Hero Challenge will take place on the Tuesday night of the British Masters (October 11) and will be televised live on Sky Sports.
It is one of a number of innovations planned for the tournament week with the aim of attracting new audiences to golf.
British Masters host Luke Donald, the former world and European number one, will be part of the eight-man field, while the entertainment on the night will also include a one-hole celebrity shootout featuring TV personality Piers Morgan and cricketers Kevin Pietersen and Shane Warne.
Donald said: “This is another great way of getting new fans to engage with our sport and to showcase golf as a form of entertainment, which is something we are really trying to emphasise with this year’s British Masters.
“I think the players will enjoy the fast-paced format of the Hero Challenge. More importantly, I think the fans will really get into it as it will be something new and different.”
The participants will showcase their skills on The Grove’s 18th hole, which will be turned into a specially constructed par-three hole under the lights.
For the professionals, the winners from the four opening round matches will progress through to two semi-finals with the subsequent two winners contesting a final head-to-head match to decide the Hero Challenge champion. If the two opponents halve the hole, the outcome of that contest will be decided by the tee shot which was nearest to the pin.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “It is vital that golf introduces shorter formats to appeal to new audiences and this one-hole straight knockout contest will provide fast-paced entertainment, whilst showcasing the considerable skill of our players.
“Last year’s British Masters introduced some terrific innovations, ranging from live master classes to on-course interviews, and the Hero Challenge will be another exciting new concept for our fans.”
In addition to being the title sponsor of the Hero Challenge, Hero MotoCorp has also become an Official Partner of the British Masters supported by Sky Sports.
The New Delhi-based motorcycle manufacturer extends its association with the European Tour, having been title sponsor of the Hero Indian Open since 2015.
Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp, said: “The Hero Challenge promises to be an exciting new concept and we are delighted to be helping to bring this to fans at The Grove as well as the millions of viewers watching on TV. We’ve had plenty of drama in the first two editions of the Hero Indian Open, and this one-hole format will guarantee some great action and crowd interaction.”