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Portugal Golf Newsletter
May 2009
 

Portugal Golf News - (2009/05/01)

Algarve Golf News
The annual Divot Trophy went as planned, with John Gibson and Gabriele Göttert doing an excellent job organising the 3 tournaments as well as the social functions. Their idea is to make it a fun and friendly week and not purely competitive. Since work has started on the modifications to the Palmares course, the competitions were held at the popular Morgado and Álamos courses at the Morgado de Reguengo complex just north of Portimão. The opening competition was a Texas Scramble, won by The Brotherhood team comprising Vilamoura GC members Mike Jenkins, Nick Butterly, Chris Price and Les Gray.

The former professional footballer and trainer Amilcar Fonseca, partnered with Tony Alves to win the better-ball pairs competition with 48 Stableford points. In the 2nd round of the 36-hole individual Stableford, your correspondent had the pleasure of playing with Tony and witnessed his fantastic hole-in-one on the 188m long 5th hole on the Morgado course. In spite of her load of work organising the event, Gabriele Göttert, managed to win the individual Stableford competition by producing a tally of 76 points. Brian Sutton also scored 76 points but lost out in the count-back but had the consolation of taking the gross prize.

The inaugural John Stilwell's Trophy was a great success and attracted a field of close to a 100 players for the 18-hole individual Stableford tournament played over the Sir Henry Cotton Championship course at Penina.

Former honorary British Consul in the Algarve, Dr. José Pearce de Azevedo, OBE, was on hand at the prize-giving lunch and gave an interesting speech to honour Mr. John Stilwell for his pioneering spirit in bringing golf to the Algarve in the early 1960s. The Le Méridien Penina Hotel Operations Manager Mathieu de Tonnac and Golf Manager Leonel Rio presented the prizes with first place going to Sr. Gomes Mota who scored 41 points. Mota's 21 points on the back nine against 19 separated him from 2nd placed Giuseppe Ghezzo who also scored a total of 41. John Russell was 3rd, one point back.

Although it had been open on an experimental basis for several weeks previously the third course at Quinta do Lago was officially opened in April. Called the Laranjal, which is Portuguese for an orange grove, it was built on land a few kilometres east of the main Quinta do Lago estate near the small village of Ludo where orange cultivation is the dominant land use in the area. In fact many new orange trees were planted and other existing ones retained to line many of the fairways, together with avocado trees and natural species such as mature pine-trees. It is pleasantly laid out, and course designer, Jorge Santana da Silva – who learned his trade with Robert Trent Jones Sr. – has done a fantastic job in moulding the natural landscape into a beautiful course.

Strategic placing of water hazards and judicious bunkering mean that Laranjal is an excellent test of golf without being overly demanding. A course opening such as this would not have been complete without a tournament, and sixty players, including golf tour operators, various local media representatives together with other guests, assembled to give the new course a good work-out. The scoring was excellent, with Peter Reischl amassing 42 Stableford points to win the event, followed by Graça Carter (41 pts.) and Geoff Farmer (40).


International News
Paul Casey secured his maiden US PGA Tour victory at the Shell Houston Open with a play-off win over JB Holmes. IN difficult windy conditions Holmes scored a final round of 69 to take the Club House lead which Casey matched more than two hours later. Holmes teed-off first on the first final hole, the par 4 18th, which had played an average of 5 on the final day. His tee shot found the water and Casey was able to win with a score of 5. Casey jumped to a career high position of Nº 6 in the World Ranking which was an improvement of 6 places.

Michael Hoey secured his maiden win on The European Tour as he defeated Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in a play-off to capture the Estoril Open. Hoey holed a six foot par putt on the third extra hole to defeat the Spaniard. Earlier, the Northern Irish golfer produced one of the rounds of his life to surge to the top of the leader board with a 5 under par of 66, and having started the day five shots off the lead in the 19th position. Hoey climber to Nº 148 with a jump of 125 places.

Angel Cabrera won the 2009 Master Tournament, his second Major Championship victory, in a sudden death play-off with Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell, having all tied at 12-under-par at 276. Campbell dropped out when he missed a par putt of around four feet on the first hole of the play-off. Cabrera made a seven-footer to take the play-off to a second hole where he triumphed with a par 4 after Perry missed the green and failed to get up and down. Cabrera moved up 51 places to Nº 18, whilst, Perry moved to Nº 6 and Campbell moved into the top 50 at Nº 41.

Jerry Kelly ended a seven year period without a victory when he captured the Zurich Classic of New Orleans by a single stroke. Kelly offset bogeys on holes 8th and 10th with birdies on 5th, 11th,and 14th for 1-under-par in the final round. His score of 274 was one stroke less than Charles Howell-III, Charlie Wie and Rory Sabbatini. This win moved him up 63 places to Nº 78th.

Thongchai Jaidee won the Ballantine's Championship following a play-off after the tournament ended in a three-way tie. Jaidee shot a 2 under par round of 70 to move alongside Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and local player Kang Sung-hoon on four under overall. This forced an extra hole at the par 4 18th. Jaidee hit a glorious second shot to around four feet from the hole and the birdie was enough to win the event. Jaidee moved up 24 places to World nº 49.

 


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