Swimmer Foster set for golfing 'treat' at La Moye

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OLYMPIC swimmer Mark Foster admits it will be ‘a treat’ to play alongside some of golf’s greatest names at La Moye Golf Club this week.

The six-time world champion turned television pundit is set to appear at the St Brelade course on Thursday as the 2022 Legends Tour arrives with a host of former major winners in tow.

A Celebrity Series event opens proceedings, before an Alliance Pro-Am tournament begins alongside the showpiece professional tour on Friday.

Champion jockey AP McCoy, footballer Robbie Fowler, rugby legend Zinzan Brooke and cricketer Graeme Swann are among those also confirmed for the celebrity tournament, alongside Jersey rugby duo Matt Banahan and Kyran Bracken. Players are competing to win money for their charity from a prize fund of £100,000.

Meanwhile, the likes of Ian Woosnam, Michael Campbell and Paul Lawrie are in line to play in the Legends Tour event, which runs from Friday to Sunday.

‘To play in a tour event, with the way it’s all set up, I feel very privileged,’ said Foster, who plays off a 10.9 handicap. ‘You get to play with a pro and you get people watching you, which makes you a little more nervous. But, at the same time, it makes me more focused.

‘I’ve never had the opportunity to play in Jersey. When I did come over previously it was very much a family holiday and I didn’t play golf. I might have got in trouble if I had. I don’t know the course, but I’ve had a look online and it looks lovely.’

Foster, who claimed two Commonwealth Games titles and eight world records during a 23-year international career in the pool, has played at similar events at Birkdale and Formby since retiring from swimming – and made a television appearance on Strictly Come Dancing in 2008.

‘It’s a treat,’ he added. ‘It’s a little bit like a public swimmer going and swimming in an Olympic pool with the best athletes in the world and being up close and personal to them. And you’ve got the conditions – the way it’s laid out for the best players. When any of us play on a normal course it can be lovely but it’s not set up with banners and stands or with spectators walking around. It gives you a real insight into their world.

‘When I did Strictly… you’re with a pro dancer, but it could be a pro at anything. When they’re the best at what they do and you get to play with them… that doesn’t happen every day.’

And, with tongue in cheek, the 52-year-old suggested he is now experiencing greater pressure.

‘A three-foot putt is more nerve-racking than a swimming championship final,’ he said.

‘When you train to do something it comes down to confidence. Everyone gets nervous over something that means an awful lot to them but swimming, for me, because I did so much of it, I was quite relaxed.

‘In golf, when you’re playing with your mates pride is on the line. It’s amazing how everybody goes into meltdown over a three-foot putt.’

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