Our 4th overseas pro-am, in conjunction with the PGA in England (South), was held for the first time in Benalmadena on Spain’s Costa del Sol. Having previously enjoyed successful events in Turkey and Portugal, everyone was keen to see how Spain would compare. A strong field of 19 teams arrived at the all inclusive Hotel Polynesia in Benalmadena, with many of the players arriving early to flee the cold weather in the UK and prepare their swings. This was surely going to be a competitive four days of tournament golf.
The evening of the 24th February saw the event formally got under way with a drinks reception and welcome meeting hosted by Peter Cowle & Mark Spratt from the PGA. This provided a wonderful opportunity for the teams to get together (not to mention size up the opposition!) in a social atmosphere, whilst we all listened to some formal rules and regulations regarding the tournament.
We arrived at Torrequebrada for the first day of the tournament to bright blue skies but there was a cold wind blowing across the course, this was clearly going to be a testing day! This course is one of the most beautiful courses on the coast. Tight but not unfairly, you need to beware of the prevailing wind, trees, bunkers and water, a truly great golf course and a great test of golf. With a tee-off time at 0830 hrs, PGA Professional Christian Vine (Woodbury Park) was first on the tee with his team, comprising of Helen and Alan Kenworthy, with Will Godfrey. The tournament was officially underway with a steady stream of eager teams arriving on the tee to collect their free golf balls, tees and tournament bag tags. Low scoring was always going to be a tough task, however after all the cards had been checked the leading professional was Chris Robinson (Portpatrick Dunskey Golf Club) with a fine round of 70, 2 under par.
The second day of the tournament saw the pro-am being played on the beautiful Santana course, one of the newest courses on The Costa del Sol, designed and built to a very high standard by Cabell Robinson who has used this orange and avocado plantation to create a wonderful course. Being slightly inland the players were blessed with bright sunshine and a welcoming gentle breeze, a relief after yesterday. The course was in exceptional condition and David Poulton from Leam Valley Golf Centre led the field away. We were expecting scoring to be better today and we weren’t disappointed with a pair of 69’s from Craig Ronald (Carluke Golf Club) and Jason McCreadie (Buchanan Castle Golf Club). McCreadie’s 69 was on the back of a level par 72 at Torrequebrada so he was leader in the clubhouse at 1 under par. All eyes were now on overnight leader Chris Robinson who held on to his lead with another 2 under par 70.
We returned to Torrequebrada. Although the wind had dropped off significantly since our first day there, along with the sun that was shining high in the sky, there was no doubt that all the players, both professional and amateur, were finding Torrequebrada the harder of the two courses. Chris Robinson shot a steady 75 but Jason McCreadie tied for the lead with a 74. We were nicely poised for the final day with both players on 1 under par.
The final round was played at Santana Golf Club, on a sunny day and the course was set up beautifully. We were now at the business end of the week as the leading players battled it out for their share of the £6000.00 prize fund. Lowest score of the week went to European Seniors Tour player Peter Mitchell (Le Mas Candille) with a superb closing 68. Fellow Seniors Tour player, Kevin Spurgeon (Ferndown Golf Club) and Scottish pro Craig Ronald (Carluke Golf Club) both fired rounds of 69 but the £6000.00 question was it going to be enough to overhaul Robinson and McCreadie at the top of the leaderboard? Robinson, out in the penultimate group, carded a closing level par 72 to finish the tournament on 1 under par so it was all down to Jason McCreadie who made a comfortable par on the final hole to sign for a closing 2 under par 70 which was enough to seal the victory with a total of 3 under par. The closing ceremony and prize giving dinner was held at Hotel Polynesia, a great evening was had by everyone with the wine flowing freely. Jason McCreadie gave an excellent winners speech and Christian Vine (Woodbury Park) led his team of Helen and Alan Kenworthy and Will Godfrey to the team prize with the amateurs collecting a Sky Caddie each for the efforts.
The final morning had arrived and the reception was busy with golfers checking out for their flights home, there were a few bleary eyes after the previous night’s celebrations but one thing was certain, everyone was looking forward to returning again next year to contest the 5th Golf Escapes overseas pro-am. For excellent rates in Costa del Sol take a look at our website or feel free to contact a member of our sales team by clicking here or calling us at 01342-811777