Hola! Welcome to another week in paradise. Sometimes I think we should all take a moment to reflect and appreciate just how lucky we are (whether playing good or bad) to be competing on such a beautiful golf course in ideal weather conditions.
Our week kicked off with the dreaded ‘Yellow Peril’. With a commendable 150 points, our winners were Annemarie Weistheit, Friedel Knebel, John Dobson and, making a guest appearance, Alan Jopling.
Onto Wednesday and it was round 2 of 3 in our ‘major trophy’ medal competition. There were four ‘2’s today, going to Dean Tracey, Phil Harrington together with two for Richard Connock. Both Richard and Phil managed it on the par four 9th! With a nett score of 68 it was Bryan Neal who took the honours today, just edging out Dean Tracey on countback. Richard Connock took bronze with 71 followed by Rachel Lee with72.
Welcome today to two new provisional members, Alan Carter and Glenn Harris. I’m sure we’ll be seeing you on the money list soon!
Friday’s game was a 6x6x6. Having played today with both Glenn and Alan all I can say is don’t hold your breath! Our winners, with 82 points (beating my team by a staggering 22) were Alan Douglas, Friedel Kneble, Annemarie Weisheit and the fictional Albert. Second slot, with 79 points, went to Geoff Biggerstaff, Nigel Price, Mike Mahony and Benedicte Kruse.
Por ultimo, remember ‘Golf is a game where the ball always lies poorly and the player always lies well’. – anon
This months trophy game took us to Bonalba, one of the furthest journey’s on our yearly calendar, but the weather was good and the traffic not too bad, as was the course, although we have seen the greens in better condition. We had 24 players and there was a lot of scores returned over 30 points so the day went well. The results were as follows;
Nearest the pins on the par 3’s were Michelle Evans who also took the two’s pot with a lovely shot into the green which left a very short putt, Jim McCarthy (2) and Chris Waddington. Nearest in two shots was Mike Thomas, best front nine Mike Thomas (20) best back Terry Brooker (19). The silver division winner was Jeff Evans (38), and the gold and overall winner was Walter Miller (38).
Back at O’Briens where the presentation took place Terry Brooker won the football card.
Our next outing is Captains day which is being used to raise funds for the Poppy appeal and is fully booked with 32 players. If anyone wishes to play with us or needs any further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A year after finishing tied for second in the Hero Women’s Indian Open, Christine Wolf enjoyed a much happier experience at DLF Golf and Country Club as she claimed her first Ladies European Tour title.
The 30-year-old Austrian, who had led by three going into the 18th hole 12 months ago before a nightmare double-bogey wrecked her chances, was able to take care of unfinished business.
Again, standing on the 18th tee, she held a three-stroke advantage, but this time, there was no sign of nerves and her third shot sailed over the dangerous lake and rolled beyond the flag into the rear greenside bunker. She played a superb sand shot and was able to tap-in for a regulation par to win the event by three strokes over Marianne Skarpnord.
Last year, the 18th had proved her nemesis and she had played the hole in eight-over-par, including a quadruple bogey nine in the third round, but this year, she played the hole in one-under-par, with scores of par-par-birdie-par.
Wolf played four rounds of confident golf on one of the world’s most challenging golf courses and was error-free over the weekend. She went 44 holes without a bogey, her last coming at the 10th hole in the second round on Friday and she shot a flawless final round of 69 for a 72-hole total of 11-under-par.
After being showered in water and champagne, Wolf said: “I’m very relieved. I was looking forward to coming back here. I didn’t think, in my wildest dreams, that I would actually pull through and I’m just excited right now. I just tried to stay calm and enjoy it out here and hit good shots.
“I am super happy, obviously, to post my first victory but also because I did it here. I love the course and I already knew that coming into this week. Everyone knew about the drama that went on last year.
“When I left last year, I was ready to be back, play the course and get some revenge on the 18th.”
Wolf emerged from the pack with a third round of 67 and held a one stroke lead over Meghan MacLaren heading into the final round. Her ball-striking proved reliable and she fired in to close range, converting a short birdie putt on the first hole and extending her lead to two shots. That lead became three when MacLaren bogeyed the next hole.
Wolf made an up and down from the bunker for birdie on the fourth hole but Skarpnord closed the gap to two with her gain on the sixth. They both birdied the ninth and went out in 33.
Wolf made nine steady pars on the back nine to come home in 36 and almost birdied the treacherous 17th for the fourth successive day, but her putt from 10 feet missed by a fraction. Skarpnord’s only error was on the par-5 15th.
Wolf’s local caddie, Ajay, was perhaps the most excited to make amends as he had taken the loss in 2018 personally.
“He texted me all of last year and even at Christmas time. He said, ‘I’m so sorry, ma’am, I think it was my fault.’ I said, ‘Well the only thing you could have done differently was hit that shot for me’, so it was nice having him there and I think he’s super excited as well.”
Wolf, from the holiday village of Igls, near Innsbruck, became only the second Austrian winner on the LET, following Nicole Gergely ten years ago and moved into third place on the order of merit.
Meanwhile, Skarpnord moved into first place. After a final round of 70, she said: “I’m quite happy with my game. Christine played such good golf and hasn’t made a bogey in two days. I felt that I played steady and had a good score around this course. When you are playing with a player that doesn’t miss a fairway, doesn’t miss a green and holes a few putts; it’s very difficult to beat that. Christine has been out here for a few years and she really deserved that win today.”
Meghan MacLaren and Whitney Hillier, who both shot 72, ended in third and fourth places respectively.
Indian amateur Anika Varma, 15, proved herself a star in the making by finishing in solo fifth place, while Tvesa Malik was the leading Indian professional in a tie for sixth with Cloe Frankish and Emma Nilsson.
After a final round of 70, Varma said: “I feel pretty good. I enjoyed my round today on the course. It was a good day for me and I enjoyed every part of it.
“I was pretty nervous in the beginning, but as soon as I hit my first tee shot I felt fine. I had a good group (with Sweden’s Emma Nilsson and Manon De Roey of Belgium) today and I enjoyed playing with them. That helped me play well too. I was pretty consistent today, just had one double (bogey) on the 16th. Before that I was doing pretty good and I didn’t miss a single regulation before the 16th hole, I think only that one and the 18th, which was the highlight of my day.”
‘Mike Probert talks Golf (RBL Charity Day Green Fees).
Here on the Costa’s golf is one of the biggest leisure time activities for both tourists and resident alike and with this in mind we have secured the services of Mike Probert of Costa Blanca Green Fee Services to provide a weekly round up of local golfing events and topics and in conjunction with us at THE LEADER will provide discounted golf prices to all of our readers and run our golf competitions.
In January 2020, American legend Jack Nicklaus will be 80 years ‘young’.
Perhaps the greatest golfer ever, during his professional career, Jack competed in 164 Majors, more than any other player, winning a record 18 while also claiming 73 US PGA tour wins.
As an amateur, he played in the Walker Cup and was runner-up in the 1960 US Open, two shots behind Arnold Palmer.
But Jack’s golfing career will be defined by his 18 Major triumphs, and they are:
Six US Masters: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986.
Five US PGA Championships: 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980.
Four US Opens: 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980.
Three British Opens: 1966, 1970, 1978.
His first British Open win came at Muirfield in 1966 and last two at St. Andrew’s, where in 1970, he beat Doug Sanders in a play-off and in 1978 became the first player to win all three Majors on three separate occasions.
Jack, the ‘Golden Bear’, ended his ‘pro’ career at St. Andrew’s in 2005, and he received a ten-minute ovation from the crowd after hitting his final tee-shot 200 yards down the fairway towards the 18th green which saw him sink a 15-foot birdie.
Born in Colombus, Ohio on 21 January 1940, Jack played American football, tennis, basketball and baseball at school and was only ten when he got the ‘golfing bug’. Indeed, while still at school, he carded a 51 for the first nine holes at his father’s course, the Scioto Country Club.
Club professional, Jack Groat, was so impressed with ‘young’ Jack that he became his life-long coach.
His 17th game of golf, saw Jack win the 1962 US Open at Oakmount, collecting $17,500 (€15.600/£14,500). The 2019 Open winner won $2.2m (€1.96m/£1.88m).
Jack won practically every honour in the game, including the Ryder Cup, and when he retired, he joined the Senior PGA Tour, going on to win ten competitions, including eight Majors.
The author of several ‘golf-orientated’ books, his autobiography, ‘Golf My Way’ is one of best instructional golf publications of all time.
Jack also owns the Nicklaus Golf Computer Games franchise and his charity work is legendary. Indeed, he received the USA ‘Congressional Gold medal’ in 2014 in recognition of his service to the nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship.
Happy birthday Jack, champion golfer, the best the sport has ever seen.
Image: Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield Village Golf Club. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
Today 4th October the competition played by Montgo G S was The Captain versus the Vice-Captain; it was a singles match play competition with 11 players on each side.
It was decided that as the Captain is from Lancashire and the Vice-Captain is Yorkshire that we make it a “Battle of the Roses” and each team would wear Red and White respectively. All players managed to dress accordingly.
The result finished 5 ½ points to each team.
Those who won their match received a bottle of wine and the loser received a coveted Montgo golf ball. We welcomed 2 guests Michelle Bijleveld and Cornelius Van Breda.
The Oliva Nova course is still recovering from the work carried out on the fairways.
Next week Montgo G S are playing at The Parador, El Saler.
This week, the Ladies European Tour is thrilled to be celebrating 10 years of involvement in the Hero Women’s Indian Open, alongside title sponsor Hero MotoCorp Ltd and the Women’s Golf Association of India.
The LET first sanctioned the 54-hole tournament in 2010, with a purse of $300,000.
Now in its 13th year overall, the purse for the 72-hole event has grown to US$500,000 – a rise of 500% from its inaugural year in 2007 – the ultimate proof of the rapid strides made by Women’s Professional Golf in India. There is now four days’ of live international television coverage and it attracts the very best of talent from across the globe with an equal split of players from Europe and India.
The tournament offers an opportunity for talented young Indian women golfers to test their skills against some of their overseas counterparts and has already played a part in the development of home grown talents such as Olympian Aditi Ashok, who was the first Indian to win on the Ladies European Tour when she claimed the title in 2016 and also Diksha Dagar, the leading amateur that year who went on to win this year’s Investec South African Women’s Open as a rookie professional.
In terms of the golf course, the Gary Player-designed DLF Golf and Country Club offers a venue to match the event’s status as one of the finest and most challenging in the world.
The work of the team at the Women’s Golf Association of India, guided by President, Mrs Kavita Singh, cannot be underestimated and nor can the long-term support of Dr Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director & CEO of Hero MotoCorp Ltd, who has been the driving force behind the development of women’s golf in the country.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Mr J Narain, Hero MotoCorp, welcomed the players to India and commented: “This is the 10th year of Hero’s association as title sponsor and the 10th year of the LET’s association with this tournament. Hero has been at the forefront of sports sponsorship in India and we are all very proud of where Indian golf stands today. We have players in all corners of the globe.”
The biggest professional women’s golf event in the country welcomes 120 women golfers from 29 countries and Mr Narain and Mrs Singh were joined in a press conference by a number of marquee names.
Mr Narain added: “It is my pleasure to welcome a special guest, the architect of the sensational Solheim Cup win at Gleneagles: Catriona Matthew, who is here in India for the first time. We also have two past champions, Camille Chevalier and Becky Morgan, who will defend the wonderful trophy. They won’t have it easy, because we have some very good Indian players. Diksha Dagar has been performing very well on the LET circuit, then we have Vani Kapoor and a few more players who will give them a tough time.”
Mrs Kavita Singh commented: “I want all the players to appreciate that this would not have been possible without Dr Munjal’s total dedication to women’s golf. To raise the prize fund from $300,000 to $500,000: that’s a huge amount in this country. Golf has always been seen as a rich man’s sport so it’s at the bottom of the ladder in terms of funding and very rare that it will get any government funding. It is through the hard work of all the team.
“The journey has been long over the last 13 years and a tough ride, but believe me, I always believed and I do this for the passion and pure satisfaction of seeing the Indian girls doing well. I hope we do well in the Olympics and come in the top three, if not next year (in Tokyo) then after that. I do have faith. Also, I can see the tour has grown now to 33-34 girls from 3-4 and we are just 13 years old, so I think we have taken great steps.
“It’s an expensive game for a country like India and unfortunately we do not have courses all over the country which are available for the girls to play. In Japan and America, they are hitting into nets off buildings. In tier 2 cities we do not have that, but probably in five years, or if not earlier, there will be 100 (female) pros.”
The tournament plays a societal role in inspiring local players to pursue their talents and the WGAI order of merit leader, Gaurika Bishnoi and LET rookie Tvesa Malik, explained how they both came to work as scorers, before they played in the tournament.
“Laura Davies used to come and give the clinics and it was great to see our idols,” said Bishnoi. “It’s been a long journey from walking the course and putting in the scores to playing in it,” she added.
“To see the journey from volunteering to playing in the tournament has been amazing,” commented Malik.
A strong commitment to the development of young players is also visible through the variety of off-course activities and a third annual achievers’ camp has been organised by the LET this year, in tandem with the WGAI and The R&A.
An unfortunate last minute withdrawal left club Captain, Mike Davies, unable to stage the planned ‘Waltz’ competition, reverting to an individual ‘Medalford’.
Coming out on top was occasional player, Lyn Young, who overturned a three shot deficit on the Medal section to score a superb 21 Stableford points total to win by the narrowest of margins of 0.1 from serial winner, Henry Mellor. Coming a creditable third was ex-member, now returned to Holland, George van Hastert, who was paying his annual very enjoyable visit to us.
Third Place, Handicap 13.7, George van Hastert – 10.1 shots
Second place, Handicap 8.2, Henry Mellor – 8.9 shots.
First place, Handicap 10.4, Lyn Young – 8.8 shots.
If anyone would like to join our Society, we play at El Plantio Golf Club every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. We use both courses – the Par 3, 9 hole course and the main 18 hole course, so we cater for all abilities.
The membership rates are very competitive, so call for more details. Anyone who wishes to play in the Society as a guest or join as a new member, contact David Swann on 865 779 983 or 648 476 752.
Picture from L to R: Henry Mellor, Lyn Young, Janice O’Brien, George van Hastert.