Portugal Golf News - (2008/01/02)
In November is when usually the local courses
become less busy as visiting golfers take a break leading up to the Christmas
and New Year celebrations. Nevertheless, the great weather conditions and some
relevant international events took place this year for both professionals and
amateur golfers in Portugal. Two of these were TAP Open and the PGA European
Senior Tour Qualifying School.
This was the 30th anniversary of the TAP Open and the biggest amateur golf event
at present in the country. At its inception, Portugal was recovering from the
effects of the 1974 revolution which practically paralysed the sport. (I
remember going with friends to play a round of golf on the Aroeira course near
Lisbon in 1974 but were unable to as people were picnicking on the fairways).
Anyway, the Portugal's flagship airline decided that a golf tournament would be
a good way to attract golfers back to the country and the result was positive.
Hundreds of players from all the destinations to which TAP flies, many of them
Portuguese living abroad, come over to Portugal to take part in this somewhat
gruelling amateur golf event – 72 holes of medal play over four different
courses preceded by the option of two practice rounds. year the tournament
courses were the Oceânico Pinhal, Millennium and Victoria in Vilamoura plus Vale
do Lobo's Ocean course, and 380 golfers. The overall net prizes for men and
ladies went to Hernâni Teixeira (S. Africa) and Ursula Maisel (Germany)
respectively. Frances Cooper from Switzerland was the Hole-in-One success of the
In the Seniors Q-School, there were two rounds of first stage play at the
Pinheiros Altos and Quinta de Cima courses with the leading 56 players joining
22 others for the 4-round final stage played over the Vale de Pinta course on
the in Carvoeiro. Like the TAP Open, the finals were affected by one day with
thunderstorms, requiring 54 holes to be played over the last two days to
complete the event. This inconvenience obviously affected the overall results
since the winner, 54-year-old Bob Larratt from England, had a considerably high
winning total of 281 (3 under par). Five more players gained full cards for the
2008 Tour. Englishmen John Hoskison, Ian Mosey and Jeff Hall, Jimmy Heggarty (N.
Ireland) and Paraguay's Angel Franco, elder brother of Carlos Franco, a USPGA
Tour player. Conditional cards were earned by the next eleven players, including
two amateurs from England, Matt Briggs and Martin Galway.
The Álamos course on the Morgado golf complex near Portimão was once again the
venue for the finals of the Bader Cup on 7th November. For the first time in the
21 years this mixed pairs tournament has been played, a brother and sister duo
came in top in the finals. A total of twelve pairs battled for the coveted
trophy after winning regional qualifying events throughout the UK. Eleanor (22
hcp.) and Matthew Harrison (+1 hcp.) from Burghill Valley Golf Club, qualifiers
at the Bransford, Worcester regional final, came home with 39 Stableford points.
Their score was two points ahead of Lisa Russell-Steele and Mick Prior, members
of the Skipton G.C. and winners of the Birchwood regional event. The weather was
perfect, but mastering the challenging greens proved to be the deciding factor
in the final results. The event was organised by John Southwick, founder and
Tournament Director of the competition and although Lady Bader, now in her early
90s, was unfortunately unable to attend this year for health reasons, Keith
Delderfield, Director of Operations for the Douglas Bader Foundation, the
benefiting charity of this competition expressed his gratitude on behalf of DBF
to the sponsors Monarch Scheduled, Tivoli Lagos Resort and Golfe de Morgado who
will also support the 2008 finals.
This year, the Grande Troféu Vilamoura, one of the most important international
amateur tournaments in Portugal is being staged in two distinct events, one
immediately after the other. The first one started on 30th November and finished
on 2nd December, and the second is played from 4th to 6th December. Both are
54-hole medal play competitions with rounds played at the Oceânico Victoria,
Millennium and Old Courses, and the programmes include welcome cocktail parties,
prize-giving ceremonies as well as dinners with shows at the Vilamoura Casino.
Prizes are being awarded for the best three net scores overall, and also in
three handicap divisions for both men and ladies, as well as the best overall
gross score. So, there is plenty to play for at Vilamoura for this the 20th year
the tournament is being contested, albeit in this new twin format.
The 12th "Glenfiddich & Dom Pedro" Cup took place on the Vila Sol Course with 80
invited golfers. Pairs Leonel Rio and Getúlio Jorge were the outright winners.
Rui Cabeçadas was the winner in the 9th "Cidade de Lagos" Trophy held on the
On the 1st of November the 13th "Portucale Stone" Trophy took place on the
Ribagolfe I Course near Lisbon. The winner was Ron Goddard with 35 points and
third time he has won this Trophy. David Gray was placed second with Sally
Buxton in third place. Brita Flach scored her 7th Hole-in-One on the 15th.
A field of 140 golfers competed in a competition organised by the Association of
Portuguese Architects on the Belas Course. Victor Manuel Mah took the first
prize followed by Manuel Di Petro. The Luso-Spanish Chamber of Commerce held
their 12th Competition on the Belas Course which was won by Emílio Fernandes
whilst second place was shared by José Ramon Baranano and Marta Lampreira.
The Autumn Tournament took place on the Oporto Course and was won by Adelino
Ribeiro followed by Joaquim Capela with four points less. The Ponte de Lima
Course was the scene of the 3rd "Ramos Pinto" Trophy which was won by Luís
Mesquita, with Pedro Barbosa in second place. The 8th "Centenário" Cup was held
at Lisbon Sports Club and was won by João Morgado followed by Gonçalo Marcos.