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Algarve Golf News April 2003

Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Our sympathy goes out to everyone at Vale do Lobo who had worked so hard to create a memorable 'Algarve Open' for 2002. The considerable financial investment and hard work was to be severely blighted by the exceptional bad weather, shortening the event and forcing a 'sudden death' playoff. The occasion marked the emergence of a new name to add to the list of past Open Winners – Carl Pettersson of Sweden. During the month of April the long anticipated purchase of the Alto Golf Course was completed with the UK based company, Wykeham Securities, taking the winning place. The rumor has it that the new owners acquired this attractive product for a very favorable price. This year so far has seen some changes in the names of local Golf Directors. At the beginning of the year Antonio Castelo moved from Vila Sol to take up the same position at Boavista Course. A few months ago Billy Sim parted company with Parque da Floresta. The Director of Golf, Christopher Stilwell, has very recently made an unexpected departure from the Alto Club – and the season is not yet over!

Golf Course News April 2003

Penina Championship
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
The Director of Golf at the Le Meridien Penina Golf Hotel is Sr. Leonel Rio, who was appointed to his present position in 1991. The Penina was originally conceived and built by the John Stilwell family who invited Sir Henry Cotton to design the course and make it his home. In 1986 John Stilwell sold the Hotel to the UK Forte Group who subsequently in 1998 were bought out by the Le Meridien Hotel Group. This later Corporation has now passed into the hands of its present owners, the 'Nomura Bank' from Japan. Leonel is a true example of a 'home-grown' golfing career man as he was born in the nearby town of Portimao and his commercial history has been linked to the Penina for over 35 years. At the age of seventeen and never before having seen before the game of golf, Leonel had the opportunity in his school holiday to become a caddie in 1966 and in the same year in which the course was inaugurated,. This was the start of his love for golf. Although forbidden at that time by his employer to play on the courses he grabbed ever opportunity to learn how to swing a club and secretly practicing on less visible holes. Finishing his academic studies and to the complete surprise of his parents he became a full time caddie and later graduated to the Reception Desk. National army service took him away until after the 1974 Revolution when he returned to the Penina. His only opportunity was to join the administration department due to the golf section having lost all of its visiting players. The lack of Hotel clients at the time helped Leonel by giving him the opportunity to improve his game and reduce his handicap to below 10 and where it has stayed. As the tourist trade recovered and also the golf visitors numbers improved this gave the chance for Leonel to move back to the Golf Desk. He feels particularly indebted to the Forte Group during their ownership as they did much to advance his career and educate him in the qualities required in applying professional administration through teamwork. The new owners are following the same policy and this is truly reflected in the many complimentary remarks he receives from the players. Leonel enjoys participating in local competitions and has a crowded room at home with his trophies. His pride and joy to date was his success in taking first place in 'Cidade de Lagos' Trophy in 1999, a fiercely competitive and exciting three-day Stableford event. The courses are in good shape and the Championship Course having been extensively renovated in the middle 90s with new irrigation system, new surfaces of tees, fairways and greens, and at the same time respecting the design and layout that was created by Sir Henry Cotton. A very important policy adapted by Leonel is that even on its busiest days that the maximum play time on the Championship Course must be kept down to 4.5 hours. He keeps two Rangers on the course with strict instructions to make players speed up their games and observe the play-through rules when necessary. Another policy much appreciated is applied to visiting players with golf ability and having no official handicap certificates. A short golf test is applied by one of the three Pros and its positive result will determine if the visitors can qualify to play the main course. Jorge Ferreira manages the Reception Desk with Águas, Maria Jose and Manuel as the helpful assistants. The selection and service in the Golf Shop is the responsibility of Isabel. Luis Domingos has been the Head Greenkeeper for over 20 years and has a team of 30 people with very up-to-date equipment to keep the courses up to the required standard. Leonel states, 'the courses have never been in a better playing condition'. The three resident Pros are Robin Liddle, Jose Lourenco and Jose Marcelino. Robin who was 'Rookie of the Year' in 1971 and the Pro at the Turberry Course in the UK was specially invited to the Penina by Sir Henry Cotton. Both of the Joses were at one time assistants to Sir Henry Cotton during the course of their respective careers with Jose Lourenco starting as Sir Henry's personal caddy in 1968. A quick mention when taking a lesson or just taking some swings on the Practice Area, you will find free fresh water on supply as an example of one of the many small but important gestures by Leonel.
Boavista
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Shortly after the Boavista course was opened in January of this year Antonio Castelo took up the post of Director of Golf. Previous to this appointment he was the Director of Golf at Vila Sol Course at Vilamoura since 1998. For those subscribers who have not read our Newsletter Nº 5, Antonio Castelo was educated in the USA and is a keen golfer and playing off 3. His immediate comment about the Boavista Course is that 'for good players it is somewhat tricky to play'. The architect Howard Swan has used three elements to challenge the golfer, speed, contours and wind. The condition of the course is good in all respects and is maintained by Joaquim Costa who previously was working on the Pestana Courses in Carvoeiro, Gramacho and Pinta. The Golf Services Manager of the Boavista Course is Tony Walton whilst the Golf Commercial Manager is Dennis Garvey. The latter person had been previously a popular fixture at Palmares Golf Course for so many years that there is not one golfing resident in the area that does not know. It is possible that partially because of this person that the Club membership of Boavista has in a few short months already risen to 290 playing members. The Course has also been readily accepted in the golfing world with several events lined up for the next couple of months and to the end of this season. The temporary Clubhouse is with a permanent building which should start construction towards the end of this year. The reception staff consists of Charlotte (Charley), Tania and Andrea. The Buggies and Carts are looked after by Howard, Gert, Tiago and Antonio.
Penina Championship
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
The XIII 'Sir Henry Cotton Trophy' took place on the 26th May on the Penina Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course. A total of 104 players competed with first place taken by Carlos Silva with a net 67. Second place was taken by Nuno Faustino with a net 67 and third place was taken by Antonio Varela with net 68. The best gross went to G. Taylor with 72.

International Golf News April 2003

Tue, 1st Apr 2003
On the US PGA Tour, K Y Choi won the Compaq Classic of New Orleans. K.Y.Choi's win was the first time a South Korean has won on a PGA Tour event and took Choi up to his highest World Ranking position at No.69. Geoff Ogilvy from Australia and the American Dudley Hart were the runners-up; Geoff moved up 61 places to World No. 94 whilst Dudley moved up 20 places to be just outside the Top 50 at No.53. Justin Rose completed his third victory of the 2002 season when he won The Crowns Tournament on the Japan Golf Tour. Justin moved up 20 places to No.76. Shigeki Maruyama captured his second PGA Tout victory after he was victorious in the Verizon Byron Nelson Classic in Irving, Texas. Shigeki Maruyama moved up 33 places and is back into the World Top 50 at No.33. Rookie Ben Crane finished in 2nd position. Ben Crane moved up an enormous 267 places on the World Golf Ranking to No. 134. Tiger Woods finished in 3rd position after a good 65 on the Sunday and as a result he extended his lead at the top to 6.43 points. Nick Price continued his amazing run in the World's Top-50 after he won the MasterCard Colonial at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Price’s 17th PGA Tour title moved him up 16 places into the Top 10 at No.9. David Toms and Kenny Perry finished in the runner-up positions and they moved 1 place to No.6 and up 10 places to No. 16, respectively. Dudley Hart finished as outright 4th and he found himself back in the Top 50 at No.44. Nick Price first entered the World Top-50 at No.49 after finishing T-2 in the Canadian Open on July 5th 1987. Since then, and 17 International victories and 16 PGA Tour victories later have helped keep Nick Price among the Top 50 players in the World. No player since the inception of the World Ranking system in 1986 has remained within the Top 50 for so many consecutive weeks – 721 in total! Jim Furyk won the Memorial Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, and by so doing he improved 14 positions back into the world Top 10 at No.9. John Cook finished as the runner-up and John Cook's 21-position improvement takes him back into the Top 50 at No.42. David Peoples jumped 32 places to No.84. David Duval finished T-4 and moved up to No.6 in the world.

Golfers in the News April 2003

Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Malcolm Mackensie - (England) Novotel Perrier Open de France Le Golf National - Paris - France - 2nd to 5th May, 2002 On the European Tour the Englishman Malcolm Mackenzie won the Novotel Perrier Open de France by one stroke from Trevor Immelman from South Africa. Malcolm Mackensie became No.206 in the world. Trevor Immelman who finished in second place moved up 32 positions to No.147.
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Angel Cabrera . (Argentina) Benson and Hedges International Open The Belfry - Sutton Coldfield - England - 9th to 12th May, 2002 Angel Cabrera claimed his second victory on the European Tour when he won the Benson and Hedges International Open at the De Vere Belfry. Angel Cabrera moved up 12 places to No.12 and the highest world ranking position of his career. Barry Lane finished in 2nd place and moved up 84 places to be just outside the Top 100 at No.106. Three players tied in 3rd position and as a result Padraig Harrington moved up one places to No.9, Colin Montgomerie moved up 3 places to No.29 and the New Zealander Michael Campbell moved up 3 to No.23.
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Tiger Woods - (USA) Deutsche Bank - SAP Open TPC of Europe Golf Club St Leon-Rot - Heidelberg - Germany - 17th to 20th May, 2002 Tiger Woods then won the Deutsche Bank – SAP Open TPC of Europe on the European Tour and remained at World No.1. Tiger Woods had to play Colin Montgomerie in a playoff and Colin as the runner-up moved back up to No.21 after an 8-place improvement. Justin Rose moved up 19 places to No.62.
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Anders Hansen - (Denmark) Volvo PGA Championship Wentworth Club - Virginia Water - Surrey - England - 23rd to 26th May, 2002 Anders Hansen from Denmark secured his maiden European Tour victory by winning the Volvo PGA Championship at Wentworth and moving up 90 positions to No.51. Eduardo Romero and Colin Montgomerie finished as the runners-up and as a result Eduardo moved up 51 places to No.57 and Colin moved back into the World Top-20 at No.17.
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Justin Rose - (England) Victor Chandler British Masters Woburn - Buckinghamshire - England - 30th to 2nd June, 2002 With his one stroke lead on the final hole Justin Rose from England claimed the victory of the British Masters on the European Tour. fellow Englishman Ian Poulter was his nearest rival with Philip Price from Wales a further three strokes behind.
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Darren Clarke - (Northern Ireland) The Compass Group English Open Forest of Arden Hotel - Coventry - England - 6th to 9th June, 2002 With three strokes in hand Darren Clarke from Northern Ireland claimed the win of the English Open on the European Tour. His nearest rival was Soren Hansen from Denmark with Raphael Jacquelin from France another two strokes back.
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Tiger Woods - (USA) U.S. Open Championship Bethpage State Park - Farmingdale - New York - USA - 13th to 16th June, 2002 Tiger Woods won the US Open Championship near New York with three strokes clear from fellow American Phil Mickelson with Jeff Maggert another two strokes behind.
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Miles Tunnicliff - (England) The Great North Open De Vere Slaley Hall - Hexham - England - 20th to 23rd June, 2002 English golfer Miles Tunnicliff won The Great North Open at Hexham on the European Tour with a four stroke lead. His nearest rival was Sven Struver from Germany.
Tue, 1st Apr 2003
Soren Hansen - (Denmark) Murphy's Irish Open Fota Island - Co. Cork - Ireland - 27th to 30th June, 2002 In a very tight playoff between four competitors Soren Hansen form Denmark claimed the win at the Irish Open on the European Tour. The other three golfers were Richard Bland, Niclas Fasth and Darren Fitchardt.

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