The Chris Stilwell Handi-Junior by EDGA and ATA
Posted by: scoringzone at 19:25, November 23 2015.
 
 
On Saturday the 21st of November, ten of Europe’s best golfers with disability joined the young players of Portugal to compete for the Chris Stilwell Trophy. The event, which saw one “handi" player lead three young players in a team format competition, was hosted at the Vilamoura Laguna course.  
 
Tony Bennett, President of the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) said, “the original concept started with a discussion with Maria Manuel Delgado e Silva from the Algarve Tourism Bureau (ATA). Together we wanted to give the young players of Portugal the opportunity to play with some of the best golfers with disability across Europe as part of ATAs Golf for All campaign”. Bennett went on to say, “The lessons that can be learned from these superb athletes will leave an indelible mark, one which helps us all to realise that all golfers have to make the best of their abilities, remain positive and treat every experience as an opportunity to learn and to grow”. 
 
With players from Sweden, France, Belgium, Spain, Denmark and Holland, it was truly a very international field, and all the handi players were full of praise for the young players that they partnered. One player commented that, “the course was ideal for this format, a good layout, a stiff test in the wind and some very challenging holes”. 
 
The winning team, led by three time Paralympic Champion Monique Kalkman from the Netherlands, included Gonçalo Teixeira Teodoro, Santiago Tomé and Tomás Gonçalves da Silva, had a total of 79 points and took the title by 4 points. Sebas Lorente combined well with Luca Lopes, Diogo Silvestre Pinto and Joāo Pdero Cavaco Antunes to finish in second place. 


Manuel de Los Santos wins EDGA Algarve Open in style
Posted by: scoringzone at 17:13, November 21 2015.

 

After a trio of late birdies under pressure, Manuel de Los Santos took a deep breath and held his nerve to prevail in a dramatic sudden-death play-off to win the European Disabled Golf Association’s Algarve Open 2015.

Friday’s second round (20th November) was played out in brilliant sunshine at the Pestana Vila Sol Resort, with a good crowd of well-wishers and EDGA players relishing the action as tournament leaders de Los Santos and Mathieu Cauneau returned to the 18th tee after both recording a two-round total of 152.

Supported by the Algarve Tourism Association (ATA) this was always going to be a special finish to the EDGA season, with the ATA making all players feel very much at home for the three days of practice and the event itself on the challenging 5,975-meter Pestana Vila Sol course.

For a good period Frenchman Cauneau looked ‘the man most likely’ after a solid pair of 76s – with his lovely smooth swing and calm temperament – while first round joint leader de Los Santos of the Dominican Republic was struggling to match the consistency of his 74 on Day One.

After a triple bogey on the par-3 15th, Manuel somehow reeled off three successive birdies to draw level with Mathieu, including a wonderful chip-in on the last hole for a 78. The pair narrowly edged out Spain’s Juan Postigo, whose 75 and a total of 153 was to be one shot too many for the Category 1 & 2 Strokeplay title.

Dramatic play-off

And so to a playoff. Driving from the 18th tee, Cauneau’s drive was dead-centre while de Los Santos found his ball blocked to the green by a tree on the right. He chipped back onto the fairway before powering a wonderful mid-iron to the back of the green, leaving a highly testing 7-meter downhill putt to the hole. Cauneau was just short of the green in two and chipped to 5 meters. The lag putt of de Los Santos nearly dropped while the Frenchman’s firmer effort would cruelly lip out, denying him victory.

A second play-off hole on the 18th, saw Cauneau find the fairway again with that measured swing while de Los Santos this time visited the trees on the left. Two more shots had him just short of the green while Cauneau’s second shot leaked fractionally to the right and he found his ball in a lone bush, 7 meters short of the cavernous bunker on the right front of 18. 

A penalty drop, a cool and delicate flick over the trap would leave him just too far away from the hole at 5 meters and he would take six shots. Equally calm however, De La Santos made his up-and-down look easier than it was for his five and a great victory to win the Category 1 & 2 Strokeplay (Gross). Mathieu would have the consolation of winning the ‘Nett’ Category 1 & 2 event with two 69s and 138.

Leading female golf is Mette

In the Ladies’ event, Mette Wegge Lynggaaed of Denmark was the star on this occasion with a two-round total of 179.

Richard Kluven, of The Netherlands, was the deserving winner of the Wheelchair category with 63 points.

In the well-contested Category 3 section, England’s Mike Lincoln won the day with two 88s and 176, two shots ahead of France’s Pierre Douma (who won the ‘Nett’ section with 140), while France’s Nino Ourabah enjoyed third place with 184.

The Stableford Category had some familiar names at the top of the scoresheet. Jakub Kovarik of the Czech Republic was first with 63 points, Shlomo Ivgi of Israel was four back on 59 points and France’s Nicolas Grossia scored 57 for third place.

On winning the title Manuel de Los Santos said: “This was a great match and Mathieu was a fantastic player today. It was so close. I enjoyed it for every shot, the good shots and the bad shots because we are very fortunate to be out there, to be able to focus on the golf, and there is a great spirit among the players.”

EDGA President Tony Bennett said: “This was a wonderful tournament and I would echo Manuel’s view about the spirit in which it was played. Congratulations to all the players this week. We would also like to thank the very friendly staff at the Pestana Vila Sol Resort and particular thanks to Maria Manuel Delgado e Silva, of the Algarve Tourism Association, who was hugely supportive of all of us and a pleasure to work with.”

 

 Article by Ben Evans www.cuttingedgegolf.com



Bjorkman and de Los Santos light up the EDGA Algarve Open
Posted by: scoringzone at 16:03, November 20 2015.

 

 

Shining under the sun of the Algarve in Autumn, two players who have lit up the EDGA season – Joakim Bjorkman and Manuel de Los Santos – share the lead in the final big event of the season.

Sweden’s Bjorkman and de Los Santos of the Dominican Republic both scored impressive +2 74s in the first round of the European Disabled Golf Association’s Algarve Open 2015 on Thursday (19 November). Held at the Pestana Vila Sol Resort, all the players had to deal with the highly challenging first five holes and tricky greens on the par 72 course which was in superb condition.

Supported by the Algarve Tourism Association this was always going to be a special finish to the EDGA season.

Leading in the Gross Strokeplay category, the in-form men are being stalked by the Belgian Adem Wahbi and France’s Mathieu Cauneau (both 76), Juan Postigo of Spain (78) and England’s Andy Gardiner (82), while the leading female golfer on the scoresheet is Mette Wegge Lynggaaed of Denmark with 84 shots. 

In the Stableford category there was some equally good scoring. Shlomo Ivgi of Israel leads with 32 points, followed by Jakub Kovarik of the Czech Republic (28) and Spain’s Sebastian Lorente and France’s Nicolas Grossia, both with 26 points.

The favourites for tomorrow will undoubtedly be Bjorkman and de Los Santos, both of whom have enjoyed impressive victories already this year in the EDGA Premier Series.

No surprise that this writer saw the leading players practising on the range after their first round. De Los Santos was next to Adem Whabi, with Manuel hitting a cluster of perfect 9-irons while Adem was working on his drive for the final round.

Manuel said: “I am really looking forward to playing with Joakim tomorrow. We are all great friends but we love the competition and we will all try to win. I love golf and will be sure to enjoy the good shots and the bad.

“But I must putt better tomorrow if I am to win. I played well from tee to green but I did not give the ball a good roll on the green. It is difficult to get everything right.”

EDGA President Tony Bennett said: “There was some really great golf today and we look forward to more of the same tomorrow. Much credit must go to all the staff at the Pestana Vila Sol Resort and particular thanks to the Algarve Tourism Association who have been excellent in their support. Both of these teams have provided a brilliant welcome to all of our golfers at this great event.”

Article by Ben Evans www.cuttingedgegolf.com



Doctor Philippe Vermorel joins the EDGA Classifier team in France
Posted by: scoringzone at 08:12, November 19 2015.

        

Doctor Philippe Vermorel has joined the EDGA Classifier team in France. Philippe brings his passion for the game as a 35 handicap golfer and a member of French HandiGolf since 2010 along with his medical background as general practitioner to the role.   



GOLFERS WITH DISABILITY TO GET CHANCE TO BECOME PGA QUALIFIED
Posted by: scoringzone at 17:10, November 16 2015.

Story by Nat Sylvester and courtesy of the PGA 

 

A talented amputee golfer has hailed a move by The PGA of GB&I to help people with disability to pursue a golfing career by giving them the opportunity to qualify as PGA Professionals.

Six handicapper Chris Foster from Bishop’s Stortford, who lost his leg to bone cancer and has long held an ambition to become a PGA Professional, described the news as ‘incredible’.“This in incredible news for not only current disabled golfers but also those with disabilities who are yet to take up the game,” said Foster who plays his golf at East Herts. “The inclusiveness of golf is ever growing and it's great to see The PGA offer this exciting opportunity to disabled golfers with dreams of becoming PGA Professional golfers.“This will hopefully start to create more role models for disabled golf and grow the game.”

From 2016 talented golfers, who meet the golf handicap requirement and work in golf, will be able to enrol on the PGA's three year training programme. The move follows consultation with the European Disabled Golf Association to establish a framework of equivalent entry level handicaps for golfers with disability from various impairment groups. “A common thread across all the very best players, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, is the struggle they have gone through to achieve their potential,” said EDGA president Tony Bennett who is a PGA Master Professional.

“A high performing able-bodied player may reach a lower handicap than an equally high performing player who plays with a physical, intellectual or sensory impairment. The PGA recognises this and so are leading the way with this initiative.

Bennett went on to say, “The opportunity for golfers with disability, that reach the required golf handicap level to enrol on the PGA’s three year training programme, is a very big step in the right direction. “There are some excellent golfers with disability that will not only learn the skills required to become a PGA Professional through this education, but will also add to the coaching offer available to all golfers and especially those with similar impairments.”  

Growing the number of disabled golfers has been an aim for various sports councils for some years and The PGA has done much to support this with specialised coach development programmes while it has strong links with disabled military charities through its PGA Golf Buddy programme, pairing up injured personnel with PGA pros in their local community.

PGA Fellow Professional, Craig Thomas, a member of EDGA’s sports committee and coordinator of the ISPS Handa Academy programme which trains pros to coach disabled golfers, has described the decision as a ‘massive step’ for disabled golf. “Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t be a good coach, a good club pro or club manager,” said Thomas who runs The Golf Academy at Oxley Park Golf Club in Staffordshire. “The decision marks a new era for the PGA and falls in line with everything it has been trying to do to make golf more accessible.”

PGA chief executive Sandy Jones added: “The PGA and its members have always tried to work in whatever way possible to bring opportunity for everyone who engages with golf to get maximum enjoyment from the game. “This latest decision to encourage those with disability to consider and become involved in the game as a career is very progressive. “I hope that we will see many joining our training programme and we will be welcoming them to full membership on the completion of their training.”

 



European Tour Productions. A teaser film for EDGA
Posted by: scoringzone at 07:57, November 9 2015.