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Algarve Golf News February 2008

Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Following awards conferred on the Algarve over the past few years, such as IAGTO's 'Established Golf Destination of the Year' in 2006, and 'Best Golf Destination in the World' by Germany's 'Rheingolf Magazin' in 2007, it is now the turn of another German publication, 'Golf Magazin' to elect the Algarve as the destination with the best courses in Europe, ahead of rivals Majorca and the West Coast of Ireland. Christopher Stilwell, Chairman of the 'Algarve Golfe' association of golf course owners and Vice-Chairman of ATA, the Algarve Tourist Association, traveled to Cologne during the last week in February to accept the award on behalf of the region.
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
The main year-opening golf event involves the annual week-long visit by members of the UK Bartenders Guild, hosted by the Algarve Barmen's Association, a tradition that is now in its 29th year. Four daily individual Stableford tournaments were staged at the Castro Marim, Pinheiros Altos, Alto Golf and Salgados courses, with a separate match-play event between the best visiting players and the locals over the last two days. With home turf advantage, the Algarve team usually have no difficulty in overcoming the intrepid visitors, aided by ample servings of local food and beverages, but last year in 2007 this tactic failed and the UKBG then won the crystal bowl trophy for only their third time. Although the ABA team were favourites to regain the upper hand this year, the visitors succeeded in defeating them once more a tightly fought match. After the first day's foursomes ended in a tie, it came down to result of the last singles match on the course which gave them an 11-10 points victory, to their obvious delight.
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
The annual 'Dom Pedro Classic' was won outright by Jose da Silva against a strong foreign participation from Ireland and the UK. The Ladies segment was won by Gill Snelson.
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
As mentioned widely in the local press there has been a recent change in the ownership of both the famous Penina and San Lorenzo courses. These courses, including the Hotel Penina and Dona Filipa Hotel are now belong to the new owners of the Pinheiros Altos golf complex, JJW Hotels and Resorts, whose founder and chairman is Sheikh Mohamed Al Jaber.

Portugal Golf News February 2008

Fri, 1st Feb 2008
The Portugal Golf Show is being held at the Centro de Congressos in Lisbon from 22nd to 24th May. Apart from equipment, golf property and course construction exhibits the show includes features such as a golf fashion show, driving ranges for adults and children to try out clubs, an artificial putting green where competitions will be staged, golf simulators, etc. to entertain visitors. There will also be three floating target 'greens' in the nearby Tagus River for prize approach shots contest.
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Portugal was represented in the Final of the 'Audi Quattro Cup 2007' held in Mexico. The pairs team of Joao Fresco and Rui Matos were placed 25th in the Category A which was no mean feat considering that over 80.000 golfers have competed throughout the year. This year the winners were Mike Williams and Edward Greenhalgh from the UK. Meanwhile, in Florida, Pedro Figueiredo and Joana Silva Pinto qualified to participate in the Final of the 'Junior Orange Bowl', Pedro Figueiredo finished in third place in the Boys category. Joana Silva Pinto finished in 31st place in the Girls category.

Golf Course News February 2008

Vale da Pinta
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
The Pestana Vale da Pinta Course and Resort was granted the first Eco-Golf certificate issued by TUV Rheinland Group to be given out in Portugal. In addition to the golf certificate, the resort also received an Eco-Hotel one, the objective of both being to maintain environmentally friendly policies with strict regulations on energy, water, and waste materials issues.
Alto Golf
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Further improvements to the Alto Golf & Country Club are taking place, coinciding with considerable restructuring of the resort. In January, the complex announced that Commandant Jose Barroso Pereira and Dr. Nuno Barroso Pereira had acquired a significant stake in the business. More golf course maintenance equipment, re-fitting of the golf shop and major landscaping improvements to the clubhouse surrounds are some of the projects under way. Mr. Ed Edwards has been appointed as the new Resort Director, having previously held senior management positions in golf resorts in the USA, Egypt, Oman and Ireland and consultancy roles with golf developments worldwide.
Faldo
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Oceanico Golf have announced that both the Nick Faldo and Christy O'Connor Jnr. courses at their Amendoeira Resort will now open simultaneously to a restricted number of players in September this year, prior to their grand opening the following month. The Faldo Course was to be open for limited play as from May, but Faldo Design decided to move the date back to combine the opening with that of the sister O'Connor Jnr. Course.
Golfe do Estoril
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
The Tagus Golf Society staged the annual Ron Newstead Cup in February on the Estoril Course. The winners were Dick Betts and Max Zimmerli with a net 64, whilst, Jimmy Gray and Henk Vaandrager took second place with 67 strokes.
Victoria
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Played recently was the inaugural 'Oceanico Invitation Golf Classic', with golfers competing for a chance to play at Oceanico's new Little River Golf & Resort in the Pinehurst area, North Carolina. A total of 210 players entered the two-day event at the Victoria Course in Vilamoura, won by Stephen Cooper and Howard Crawford with a team score of 51 points on the first day. Cyril Murray and Pat O'Toole were the second day winners with a tally of 47 points. Oceanico are staging a similar event in October 2008, to be held alongside the Portugal Masters and the 'John Aldridge Charity Classic'.
Vale do Lobo Royal
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Another traditional event in January is the popular 'Vale do Lobo Amateur Week' - now in its 15th year. Individual and team tournaments were held every date from 28th January to 2nd February at this resort, over the Ocean and Royal courses.
Palmares
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
The 31st Almond Blossom series of tournaments took place at Palmares. The almond trees dotted around the course, particularly on the back nine were out in their full splendour, thanks to a full week of sunshine with only light breezes. This perfect weather, allied to the fast, true greens and overall fine condition of the course led to some excellent scoring, especially the round of 63 net (8 under par) by Roland Wallace to take the overall net prize on the final day, the 'Palmares Golf Trophy'. Roland Wallace had already won the opening event, an individual Stableford, carding 38 points. The scenic Palmares course which overlooks the coastline just east of Lagos, has been devoid of property development since it opened in 1975. In the near future, this is due to change into a prime €400 million 200-hectare golf resort with a 5-star hotel and villas, and a new nine golf holes are also being built.
Castro Marim Golf
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
The popular golf course manager, Antonio Cavaco, has moved from the Quinta da Ria and has taken up the position of Golf Director at the established Castro Marim Course in the eastern Algarve.
Pinheiros Altos
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
The first competition of the 2008 FPG was held on the Pinheiros Altos Course and the Mens category was won by Ricardo Melo Gouveia with Jose Maria Joia in second position. The Ladies segment was won Marta Vasconcelos followed by Ana Santos Melo.
Golfe do Estoril
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
The finals of the 'Portuguese Senior's Oder of Merit' was held on the Estoril course with the winners being Joaquim Pinto de Almeida for the Mens, and Anke Eckardt for the Ladies. The 'Quinta da Ria Order of Merit 2007' was won by Jorge Rosa.

International Golf News February 2008

Fri, 1st Feb 2008
J.B. Holmes birdied the 72nd hole in regulation to tie, then birdied the first playoff hole to beat World Number Two Phil Mickelson at the FBR Open at TPC Scottsdale. Holmes, who had secured his debut PGA Tour win at this same event in his Rookie season of 2006, climbed to Nº 62, an improvement of 135 places. Mickelson increases the gap between him and Nº 3, Steve Stricker, to 2.71 average points. This month other winners were Marc Cayeux from Zimbabwe who won the Nashua Masters on the Sunshine Tour to move to World Number 303 and Australian Jarrod Lyle who won the Mexican Open on the Nationwide Tour and moved to World Nº 248. Steve Lowery shot a final round of 68 for a 10-under-par total of 278, a figure matched by the overnight leader at the AT&T Pebble Beach. He pitched to two feet for a birdie on the 72nd hole to win the National Pro-Am title at the first extra hole with a birdie of his own at Pebble Beach's famous 18th hole. Steve Lowery climbed 189 places to Nº 116 while Vijay Singh moved up a place to World Nº 10. Shaun Norris secured his debut win on the Sunshine Tour at the inaugural Africa Open Golf Challenge at the Fish River Sun Country Club and moved to Nº 448 as he picked up his first World Ranking Points.
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Daniel Chopra from Sweden defeated Steve Stricker in a play-off to win the opening tournament of 2008, the Mercedes-Benz Championship on the PGA Tour at the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii. Daniel Chopra adds this win to a recent run of form which includes winning the penultimate PGA Tour event of 2007, the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro, and a playoff loss to Aaron Baddeley at the Mastercard Masters in Australia in November. Daniel Chopra moved 59 places to World Nº 61 and climbed to second in the European Ryder Cup World Points List while Stricker moved to Nº 3 place. K.J. Choi from Korea led after every round of the Sony Open in Hawaii and finished on 14 under par earning a three-shot win over South Africa's Rory Sabbatini. Choi achieved a career high World Ranking of 7th, an improvement of 2 positions while Rory Sabbatini returned to the Top 10 in 10th place. Tiger Woods won his fourth consecutive Buick Invitational title at Torrey Pines by eight shots with a final round of 71 for a 19-under-par total of 269. Outright second place was claimed by Ryuji Imada who closed with a birdie for a final round of 67. Tiger Woods extended his lead over Phil Mickelson at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking to 11.02 average points while Ryuji Imada moved to Nº 97.

Golfers in the News February 2008

Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Richard Sterne - (South Africa) Joburg Open Royal Johannesburg & Kensington - South Africa - 10th to 13th January, 2008 Richard Sterne from South Africa won on the European and Sunshine Tour for the third time as he claimed the Johannesburg Open title in a thrilling sudden-death playoff over Magnus A Carlsson and Garth Mulroy at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington. Sterne began the tournament as the highest World Ranked player in the field at Nº 44 and then moved up to Nº 33 with this win.
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Martin Kaymer - (Germany) Abu Dhabi Golf Championship Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates - 17th to 20th January, 2008 The 23 year old German golfer Martin Kaymer, the 2007 European Tour Rookie of the Year, led from the first day and closed out the Abu Dhabi Championship with a final round 74 for a 15 under par total of 273. This win took the German player to Nº 34, a jump of 42 places. He became the only player in the World Top 50 under 25 years of age.
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Adam Scott - (Australia) Commercialbank Qatar Masters Doha - Qatar - 24th to 27th January, 2008 Adam Scott shot a breathtaking final round of 11 under par 61 to win the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy for the second time, beating Henrik Stenson by three strokes at Doha Golf Club. The Australian, who won the last time he played in Qatar in 2002, climbed 4 places to Nº 4.
Fri, 1st Feb 2008
Tiger Woods - (USA) Dubai Desert Classic Emirates - Dubai - United Arab Emirates - 31st to 3rd February, 2008 The World Number One, Tiger Woods, matched his opening round 65 in the final round at Emirates Golf Club to win the Dubai Desert Classic for a second time. Nine birdies in the round including six on the back nine were enough for a single stroke win over Martin Kaymer who finished birdie, birdie, an eagle, for a total of 66. Ernie Els found water on the 18th as he faced a birdie to tie and slipping to tied third position with Louis Oosthuizen.

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