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  Portugal Golf - Newsletter

Portugal Golf Newsletter
Portugal Golfing News during the Summer of 2007

Algarve Golf News - (2007/09/13)

During July, August and September, the unusual low average temperatures around 26ºC in Portugal (the coolest summer in 20 years), together with fantastic weather conditions and cheaper green fees, created the perfect conditions for numerous rounds in most golf courses.

The 'soft' opening of the magnificent Jack Nicklaus layout at Monte Rei, near Vila Nova de Cacela has taken place. Having personally been at the site during one of Nicklaus's original visits in July, 1990, I was anxious to drive over and see the final masterpiece for myself as reports and photos published are really impressive.

Through well-known local golf pro, Tony Bennett, who runs teaching centres at Alto Golf (Alvor) and Quinta da Ria (Tavira), and the writer received a kind invitation to play in a team event at the testing Penha Longa course, west of Lisbon. Organised by Tony and his wife and son, the tournament was sponsored by the Multi-Development Group which operates in 20 European countries designing, constructing and managing shopping centres. Established In Portugal for 17 years the company has set up many such complexes throughout the country.

The 36-hole 7th Vilamoura Casino invitational tournament was staged at the Oceânico Victoria and Old Courses at the beginning of the month. Getúlio Jorge was the winner with Romeu Gonçalves in second place. Part of the Solverde annual circuit that culminates in September at the Oporto Golf Club. This was the first course in Portugal and one of the first of a handful in continental Europe, in fact, dating back to 1890. The ten leading players qualified for this year's final tournament.

As in the past two years, the 3rd Portuguese Red Cross Open was staged at the Gramacho course, with the Pestana Resort owners waiving the green-fees, and 18 teams of four golfers each took part in this Texas Scramble event. After deducting 10% of the combined exact handicaps from their gross score of 61 strokes, the team comprising Helder Pina, Miguel Veterano, António Glória and José Esteves won with 56.75 net, edging out the well-known Cândido de Oliveira family four-some by a mere 0.62 of a stroke.

The Le Méridien San Lorenzo Course provided their golf course to hold a charity event organised in aid of the Associação Oncológica do Algarve for its Casa Flor das Dunas project. A total of 93 players took part and G. Sloan won the men's prize with 40 Stableford points, followed closely by J. Cavell on 39. Two ladies, Janet Kaye and Judy McDowell tied the lead with first place going to the former after a count-back.

At the end of June, Parque da Floresta Course and sponsor Hertz Portugal held the 6º Safe Hands Charity Golf Classic which raised more than € 150.000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust with a two-day tournament and a Gala dinner. The event was won by the Sportax Team comprising of John Peavoy, Geoffrey Vickers, Noel Barker, and captained by the events host, David Seaman. The participants included a host of famous names past and present from football, rugby and cricket.

An amateur team event, the Nations Cup: Portugal, organised by the Portuguese tourist board and the Portuguese Golf Federation, will be held at Vale do Lobo from 29th August to 2nd September, and a good field of players is expected from several countries.

The Salgados Course near to Albufeira has last month inaugurated their new modern Club House which offers guests many more facilities including Spa facilities.

In the 90s a series of annual golf matches were held between fans of four of the major football clubs in Portugal, Benfica, Sporting, Selecção and Sporting. Unfortunately these were discontinued due to lack of a solid financial sponsor. Happily for all concerned, the Hotel Grande Real Santa Eulália & Spa in Albufeira have combined with a few other sponsors and have this year revived this previous popular summer event. A total of 188 golfing fans from all over Portugal, including some foreign residents, took part in a keenly contested four-ball match-play competition organised by Double Eagle and Golfocus magazines. The match ended in a 29-18 point rout by the Benfica 'reds' over their staunch green-and-white Sporting rivals. We hope that the same sponsors can be counted on for their support for the coming years.

Vilamoura Golf Club's traditional summer school for youngsters under 18 was held in July and August, culminating in tournaments held on 24th-25th August. Coordinated by club vice-chairman Jorge Batista and conducted by the club's five teaching pros, the course was attended by close to 200 children and youths.

Various competitions are held, on the putting-green for pure beginners and the very young; 5-hole ones for the young ones with some experience; up to a 36-hole stroke-play event over two days for the low handicappers. A few of the former Vilamoura club academy pupils are now turned professional such as the brothers Ricardo and Hugo Santos who have played in PGA EuroPro and a few Challenge Tour events, António Rosado, a player on the PGA of Portugal tour, as well as Inder van Weerelt - a Challenge Tour regular.

The Steve Ballesteros designed Quinta do Vale course near Castro Marim in the extreme east of the Algarve alongside the Guadiana River separating the Algarve and Andalusia is due to be ready for play in the next few months. Over-seeding with cool season grass on the Bermuda fairways has been carried out recently. Similar to the course opened in 2004 on Porto Santo Island that Steve also designed, Quinta do Vale has an equal number of six par-3, par-4 and par-5 holes.

Europe's finest young amateurs participated in the "Portugal Nations Cup" which was held at Vale do Lobo on the Royal and Ocean Courses. Fourteen selected teams from their respected countries fought each other over three rounds with the English team taking first prize and Ireland in second.

The 13º Caniço Prainha Cup was held on the Penina Championship Course near Portimão. This annual shot-gun event is basically by invitation only and this year the field was composed of 88 golfers. The Caniço Cup was won by Marta Lampreia, Portugal's national champion lady player. The Prainha Cup was won by Sean Corte Real.

In September, Boavista Golf Club near Lagos which recently inaugurated its new Club House building, is staging an amateur team event for charity in aid of three institutions that take care of orphans, handicapped children and those with learning difficulties. Twenty firms and organisations are helping to sponsor the competition, and after the prize-giving the club is holding an auction for valuable prizes in its new Club House to boost the charity fund-raising efforts.

Lisbon & North & Islands Golf News

The Forum Coimbra, being one of the newest and in Portugal's third city which is famous for its university, received a design award at this year's ICSC conference in Warsaw. The winning team – whose 4th member was absent - comprised Magda Carrilho, Sérgio Garcia (namesake only!) and Joaquim Pinheiro, with the runner-up team being Ricardo Oliveira, Benno van Veggel, Duarte Garin and Inigo Arnaiz.

Howard Chamberlain from England won the title in the annual 2007 Lisbon Golf Coast Festival sponsored by the Lisbon Tourist Board. This popular event is a combination of golf on local courses and organised social functions and draws players from many European countries. Howard just had the edge over his nearest rival Michael Allendorf from Germany. The team event for the Nations Cup was won by Brian and Glenda Winn from England.

The Credit Suisse Estoril Challenge de Portugal at Estoril Course was won by Peter Baker, former Ryder Cup player. Lying close behind Baker was Welshman Stuart Manley with Jan-Are Larsen from Norway in third place. Tiago Cruz won the Mota Engil Classic which took place on the Amarante Course. He was followed by António Sobrinho and Ricardo Santos, whilst, Mónia Bernardo won the Ladies prize followed Cláudia Dantas.

The 1º Guialmi Cup played at Quinta do Perú Course brought together 156 invited players involving many household brand names was won by Paulo Spínola followed by Gustavo Salazer and Miguel Mimoso. The Ladies segment was won by Maria Helena Antunes followed by Maria João Almeida Fernandes and Fátima Pita. Estoril Golf was the location for the annual D'Arcy Orders Competition. The event was won by Eva Sanches with Derek MacIvor in second place. The Praia D'el Rey course was chosen by the Pings Golf Society for their annual Presidents Putter Competition. First prize went to George Buss with Philippe Schifferling close behind. The 6º Casino Estoril Tournament on the Estoril Course was won by Nicolas Sturken followed by João de Deus.

Tiago Cruz was the winner of the Mota Engil Classic on the Amarnate Course. The Montebelo Course at Viseu recently inaugurated their additional nine holes to make 27. This course was also the location for the Invitation Becel Tournament which was won by Jorge Toste followed by António Vieira, and Anabela Pereira won the Ladies prize. The Golden Eagle Course was for four days the scene of intense activity as the Campeonato Nacional de Jovens was played. The best young golfers from around the country played at their best to win their varies sections. Under eighteens was won by Bernardo Frére and Marta Vasconcelos. Under sixteens was won by Tiago Rodrigues and Ana Santos Melo. Under fourteens was won by Gonçalo Pinto and under twelve's was won by João Magalhães.

The team Landidor consisting of Carlos Tinoco, João Vinagre, Artur Ferreira and João Navega, were the winners of the World Corporate Golf Challenge which was held at the Sul de La Manga Course in Spain. This team event was hard fought by teams representing many countries from all around the world.

90 players participated in the Lexus Trophy held on the Oporto Club Course near Porto. José Carlos Sousa won with 42 points with Mandim Lino taking second place with 40 points. The Ladies segment was won by Cathy Leão.

The 1º Royal Caribbean Golf Trophy was held on the Penha Longa Course near Estoril was won by Emílio Fernandes with 27 points. Maria Cristina Matos won the net with 37 points.

On Madeira Island in the TMN Tournament held on the Santo da Serra Course, Kimberley Camacho and June Maul carried off the top prize with 65 net strokes. Two pairs tied for second place with 67 net strokes; Nina Haarguaard/Goretti Aveiro and Fernando Vieira/Francisco Gonçalves. On Porto Santo Course a serious of tournaments are held in August which are successfully attracting players.

In the very north on the Ponte de Lima Course, a round of the Spanish "Copa de Ora de Galicia" series, brought together 112 Portuguese and Spanish players. José Casimiro Lima with 41 points took the net prize with Vasco Garcia Costa in second place.

The young Portuguese player Pedro Figueiredo took second place in the Amateur International Championship held on the Basel Golf Course in Switzerland. Pedro who plays at the Quinta do Perú near Lisbon was tied in first place with Sean Einhaus and Pierre Relecom. In the play-off he lost due to a bogey on a Par 3.

The Miramar Course held its in-house tournament to establish its 2007 champions. Jorge Abreu won the men's, Susana Mendes Ribeiro won the ladies and Francisco Almeida won the juniors.


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