May 25 (Reuters) - It was a fiercely competitive Ryder Cup-style battle on the fairways between two teams from America and Europe, but without any golf clubs being swung.
Instead it was all powerful punts and precision passes as the best players from the sport of FootGolf, the soccer-golf hybrid craze, kicked their footballs into oversized golf holes over three days in California in the inaugural Jansen Cup.
Team UK prevailed 29 1/2 - 18 1/2 over Team USA in the 24-a-side mixed-gender event at the Desert Willow Golf Resort on Wednesday after Ryder Cup-like fourball, foursomes and singles matches.
Team UK featured Mark Scotchford, who was once a scholar with English Championship (second-tier) soccer club Brentford.
“Yes, they have been great opponents. The one thing with the Americans is that they never give up,” Scotchford said of the FootGolf World Cup winners.
“We had a big lead but every player fought to the end, which is refreshing and made it a great battle.”
The Jansen Cup, named after one of FootGolf’s Dutch creators Michael Jansen, will - like the Ryder - also be played biennially. (Reporting by Reuters TV; writing by Patrick Johnston; editing by Mark Heinrich)