IBROX STADIUM opened its doors to Professional Golfers, including 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, World No. 7 Henrik Stenson and Scotland’s multiple European Tour winner and life-long Rangers fan Marc Warren ahead of the 145th Open at Royal Troon this week.

Upon a specially constructed tee in the directors box, golfers and ‘Gers first-team stars and coaches were paired up and tasked with finding the target of a makeshift green inside the centre-circle on the hallowed Ibrox pitch.

Points were awarded for nearest the pin and, to bring in a football skill, the competitors then headed onto the pitch for a penalty shootout, with the end result seeing Willett and new signing Joey Barton claim the glory after Willett converted one of his two penalties and Barton netted both of his.

Speaking afterwards, ‘Gers boss Mark Warburton said: “This was certainly ‘pre-season training’ with a difference for our players. I didn’t realise how good some of them were with a wedge in their hands, and how deadly some of Callaway’s Staff Professionals were from the penalty spot! It was great fun and a pleasure to get Open week off to such a memorable start.”

New man Joey Barton added: “As a huge golf fan, it’s a privilege for me to be paired with Danny Willett. I’ve followed his rise to become current Masters Champion closely. He is a superb example of what can be achieved with hard work, good daily habits and total inner belief. Hopefully as a squad we can use his winning example going into the new season and like Danny, go on to achieve great things.”

Also taking part last night was life-long bluenose and Callaway Staff Professional, Marc Warren, and he explained: “I’m a huge Rangers fan and taking part in this event was like a dream come true for me.  I never thought I’d ever stand on the pitch and take a penalty at Ibrox and I will remember this for a very long time.”

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