Djokovic and Bale seal victory in star-studded Ryder Cup celeb match

Novak Djokovic and Gareth Bale seal victory in star-studded Ryder Cup celebrity match… as the likes of F1 ace Carlos Sainz, Hollywood actress Kathryn Newton and Super Bowl winner Victor Cruz battle it out in Italy

  • The Ryder Cup gets underway Friday, but the fun has already begun in Italy
  • Hollywood stars and sporting greats battled it out in Wednesday’s All-Star Match
  • provides all the latest international sports news 

World No 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic is a six-time winner of the Rome Masters but on Wednesday he swapped his racket for a set of golf clubs to win the All-Star Match in the build-up to the 44th Ryder Cup.

The Serbian, who claimed a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title by winning the U.S. Open this month, added yet another trophy to his cabinet on Wednesday, winning alongside a team that also included Gareth Bale, and was captained by legendary golfer Colin Montgomerie.

‘It’s such an honor, a golden opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience,’ the nervous-looking 36-year-old said on the first tee surrounded by an enormous grandstand.

‘Thanks to all the fans for coming and putting a bit of extra pressure on us on the first tee. It’s a unique experience.’

With hundreds of fans in the stands and many more lining the fairway, Djokovic initially walked out to address his ball with a tennis racket, before switching to a driver.

Colin Montgomerie’s (right) team celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup All-Star Match

Novak Djokovic drew in big crowds, and he ended up on the winning team on Wednesday

Gareth Bale looks on during the match at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome

Carlos Sainz swapped F1 for his second love – golf – to participate in the competition

After a couple of practice swings were greeted with cries of ‘oles’, he sent his ball down the first fairway, puffing out his cheeks with relief and thumping his heart.

Djokovic and England’s Kipp Popert – the world’s No 1 disability golfer – were up against Spain’s F1 driver Carlos Sainz – who recently won the Singapore Grand Prix – and Italian G4D golfer Tommaso Perrino.

They won 3-1 with Djokovic’s ‘shot of the day’ coming on the par-four 16th where he managed to drive the green from a slightly advanced tee — earning loud cheers from the galleries.

‘This is sporting greatness,’ Djokovic jested as his ball stopped on the green. ‘I was going to play safe but the crowd made me do it. ‘It was one of the best shots I’ve ever hit.’

There were some duff shots too, including one failed attempt to hack out of the rough, but the Serb, who had some tips from former Real Madrid forward Bale and keen golfer before the contest, clearly enjoyed the change of scenery.

American actress Kathryn Newton waves to fans on the 18th green after playing her round

Newton was paired up with Super Bowl winner and former NFL star Victor Cruz (center)

Djokovic takes the applause of the crowd after driving the green on a short par-four

Gareth Bale is a notoriously good golfer – and even more so after hanging up his football boots

Although he admitted playing golf in front of large crowds was more daunting than battling on a packed Centre Court.

‘I’ve never played golf in front of this many people, so considering my level I think I’ve played quite well.’

Elsewhere, there were some other huge stars taking their place on the course, with two big-name Americans in Super Bowl winner Victor Cruz and Hollywood actress Kathryn Newton teaming up.

They took on Dude Perfect’s Garrett Hilbert and Italian Olympic surfer Leonardo Fioravanti. 

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