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Algarve Golf News February 2005

Tue, 1st Feb 2005
After the semi-lull of December and January low season for visiting tourist golfers (the main low one being the hot summer months), the Algarve main season has teed off with countless luggage trolleys at Faro airport loaded down with bulging golf bags. Some of the local golf courses and especially those owned by hotel chains have found it advantageous to offer special winter package deals. Each year the courses are now beginning to see more use during the December and January period. Visiting golfers have been extremely lucky this winter with extra fine sunny weather although, crisp early mornings with a touch of ground frost have occasionally been a feature. The downside has been the general lack of rain throughout large parts of the country and the usual fine condition of the courses in the Algarve has proved to be extremely difficult to maintain. Courses with Bermuda grass are particularly vulnerable to cold weather as it hibernates and turns straw coloured in the winter. In March and April there will likely be some relief to the course owners and their concerned green-keepers. However, yesterday the writer drove to play a match on a course about 100 kilometres from home but the event was cancelled after playing only one hole due to the rain and a particularly strong cold wind.

International Golf News February 2005

Tue, 1st Feb 2005
Justin Leonard completed a three stroke victory at the end of January in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic with a five under par 67 in the final round. Leonard moved up 24 places to Nº 16 while Tim Clark followed his win in the South African Airways Open with tying second place with Joe Ogilvie. Tim Clark became Nº 38 and Joe Ogilvie moved up to Nº 82. At the FBR Open in Arizona, Phil Mickelson who started the last round with a four-shot lead, finished with a three-under-par 68 for a 17-under total of 267 and a five-shot victory . Scott McCarron and Kevin Na tied for second place on 12 under at 272. Mickelson jumped past Retief Goosen into 4th position in the World Golf Ranking. Richard Sterne of South Africa claimed his maiden Sunshine Tour victory at the Nashua Masters. His one stroke win over Grant Muller and Titch Moore helped his move up to Nº 175. Adam Scott won the first play-off hole against Chad Campbell in the rain shortened Nissan Open. Despite the 25% reduction in Official World Ranking Points awarded to the event being decided over 36 holes, Scott climbed to his highest ever World Ranking position of 7th - a move of 5 places. The Australian golfer Geoff Ogilvy birdied the second playoff hole to earn his first PGA TOUR victory at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson. He defeating Mark Calcavecchia and Kevin Na. Geoff Ogilvy improved his position in the Ranking by 23 places and moved into 60th place. Another winner was Peter O'Malley at the New Zealand PGA Championship.

Golfers in the News February 2005

Tue, 1st Feb 2005
Tim Clark - (South Africa) South African Airways Open Durban - Durban - South Africa - 20th to 23rd January, 2005 Tim Clark from South Africa finished a comfortable six strokes less than his nearest rivals Gregory Havret from France and fellow South African Charl Schwartzel.
Tue, 1st Feb 2005
Nick Dougherty - (England) Caltex Masters Singapore 2005 Laguna National - Tampines - Singapore - 27th to 30th January, 2005 Nick Dougherty held off the challenge from final round playing partners Colin Montgomerie and Thomas Bjorn to win the Caltex Masters in Singapore. Dougherty held a one stroke lead with three to play but eventually secured a five stroke win thanks to two birdies in the final three holes. Nick Dougherty moved up 197 places by this win to be placed in 163rd place in the Rankings.

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