THOUSANDS of celebrity spotters and golf fans are lining up to get a slice of the action as sport and showbiz stars go head-to-head for the Celebrity cup at the Celtic Manor Resort tomorrow.
Captained by Rob Brydon, of Gavin and Stacey fame, the Welsh team is made up of TV presenter Gethin Jones, actor actor Phil Glenister, Geraint Hardy, Andrew Howard and Gareth Edwards.
Today they were out practising their swing on the fairway, along side some of Ireland, Scotland and England’s top names, before the contest starts in earnest tomorrow morning.
Mr Brydon will compete alongside England’s team captain Mike Tindall, Ireland’s Keith Duffy and Scotland’s Gavin Hastings.
Players for this year’s cup includes pop stars Ronan Keating and Brian McFadden, Brendan O’Carroll and Danny O’Carroll-the stars of the TV series Mrs Brown, Dragons Den star and businessman Peter Jones, actors Dougray Scott and Bradley Walsh.
During today's practice round Dougray Scott managed a hole-in-one on the Twenty Ten course, Scott Quinnell took part in the celebrity challenge and holed a bunker shot, whilst Philip Glenister was slightly wayward off of the first tee.
Gethin Jones admitted to being “extremely nervous” whilst standing upon the first tee, as sports stars Graeme Swann, Gareth Edwards and Mike Tindall teed off for practice.
Former world champion swimmer Mark Foster steps in for the injured Jodie Kidd for England, while Lions rugby player Stuart Hogg and Republic of Ireland manager and World Cup pundit Martin O’Neill complete the line-ups for Scotland and Ireland respectively.
Scotland have high hopes of defending the trophy they won last year but they will face tough competition from the homeside Wales, England and Ireland.
Mr Jones said it is fantastic to be back at The Celtic Manor resort. He added: "I’ve got a good feeling about this year, we’ve all been practicing too."
On Wales’ chances he said: “Last year it was team Scotland, this year I think it’s going to be team Wales. If our golf fails, we can rely on Rob Brydon to put people off with his jokes and Gareth Edwards to tackle someone."
England captain, Mike Tindall said: “I’ve been looking forward to the Celebrity Cup for weeks and it was great to be out on the course for the warm-up today. We can’t wait for the real competition to start tomorrow, come on England."
Oh his golf he said: “I was lucky enough to be here and host my own golf day last month so hopefully I’ve got the upper hand that I’m well-rehearsed on the course. Overall we’re happy with the warm-up today and Team England are looking forward to the tournament tomorrow.”
The teams are due to tee off with the first round robin matches over nine holes tomorrow morning with further matches taking place in the afternoon and Sunday morning before the winners and team standings are decided in the final matches on Sunday afternoon.
Supporting the action on the green is former Ryder Cup Captain Bernard Gallacher who will be putting the celebrities through their paces in skills challenges which will also include special guest star, Jesse Metcalfe, of Desperate Housewives and Dallas Fame.
A family day out includes trick shot shows and an interactive spectator village. Tickets are on the gate and £20 adults and £5 for children for the weekend.