Brilliant Golf by Jon Bevan Wins Duel in the Turkish Sunset
Jon Bevan (left) sported a ‘lucky’ new blond tint in Antalya, Turkey… but it wasn’t his change of hair colour that won him the Beko Classic, it was the scintillating quality of his golf over a demanding 56 holes.
That unusual number was down to the three rounds being stretched into a two-hole sudden-death play-off and a Duel in the Sunset against one of the players you would least choose to swap shots with either in bright sunlight or gathering gloom, Simon Edwards.
Both had finished on fourteen under par and, as they went out again to trade yet more super strokes, the red sun was slipping behind the distant mountain range. For the enthralled gallery at the 400-yard 18th this meant a case of identifying ‘Yellow Cap’ Bevan against ‘Red Sweater’ Edwards.
First time round it was a half in par. So how long could this go on? How long would the fading light last?
PGA Cup player Bevan, who has played in three Open Championships and beaten the cut once, readily admitted to being 25 yards short of Edwards in driving length.
“I’ve always been a little short of distance with my long game but my short game compensates for it,” he stressed.
And when the crunch came so it did. His medium irons, too!
A 187-yard four iron arrowed in on the flag to seven feet and as Edwards responded with an approach to eight feet. Superb stuff. Rose and Casey couldn’t have done it better.
Now two birdies were on the cards, and a torch-lit third attempt, but Edwards’ putt flirted with the hole and remained out while Bevan’s was a bull’s eye. Fabulous tournament. Fabulous finish. “I feel just great, fantastic,” said Bevan. “It’s a terrific event at fabulous place. I’ll maybe come back again next year if I get the chance.”
Third place went to last year’s winner, Liam Bond, who finished on eleven-under par with a closing round of 67 while Paul Simpson was fourth alongside another past winner Erol Simsek on seven under.
199 (-14) Jon Bevan (England); Simon Edwards (Wales)
Bevan won at the second hole of a sudden death play-off.
202 (-11) Liam Bond (Wales)
206 (-7) Erol Simsek (Turkey); Paul Simpson (England)
207 (-6) Zeke Martinez (Italy)
208 (-5) John Harrison (England); Duncan Muscroft (Italy)
209 (-4) John Kennedy (England); David Shacklady (England)
210 (-3) Ian Woosnam (Wales); Ulas Karatas (Turkey
211 (-2) DJ Russell (England)
212 (-1) Paul Way (England)
Beko Classic Helps Woosnam Towards European Seniors Tour
In his campaign to join the European Seniors Tour in 2008, IAN WOOSNAM (pictured left with Paul Way) emerged from the Beko Classic International Pro-Am at Antalya at the end of November with high hopes of achieving the fitness deadline by his 50th birthday next March.
The former US Masters Champion, World No.1 and 2006 Ryder Cup Captain had happily accepted an invitation to visit Turkey for the first time, and play in The PGAs of Europe-endorsed 54-hole tournament, although he still suffering from the effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
A far cry now from those days when, as the Welsh-born British bulldog, Woosie thrilled the world of golf outside of America by inflicting on the United States regular and severe attacks of Pain in the Backside Syndrome.
Not only did he leave Augusta in 1991 with one of those cherished US Masters green jackets he was also an important part of the European Ryder Cup winning teams in 1985, 1987, 1995 and 1997 and, of course, led Europe to success at the K Club in 2006.
Since then, however, playing golf has been mostly off the agenda as the effects of the debilitating complaint have taken their toll, as he explained exclusively to Working Together between rounds in Turkey.
“It simply feels good to play golf and have a card in my hand again,” he confided. “Apart from playing in the European Open, which proved to be a bit of a disaster for me, it feels like about six months since I’ve done that.
“It’s getting better, no doubt about that, but it’s been great to be able to use a buggy. I wouldn’t be able to walk the course. Not yet. It’s true to say that playing here is a very important part of my recovery process but, although perhaps I shouldn’t say this, I have felt a little nervous or, at least, apprehensive.”
He confessed that due to not playing any golf recently the course, on which the tournament leaders scored sub-par in all three rounds, seemed ‘quite narrow’. “I feel unable to really let go (to play his full shots with freedom).”
In the circumstances Woosnam revealed his well-known qualities of determination by earning 12th place with rounds of 71-70-69 to finish on three under par. “If there had been another round I’d have scored 68,” he chuckled thereby putting a positive spin of progress on a thoroughly worthwhile exercise.
“I’m intending to play some golf in Barbados now,” he added.
“And we’ll see how I go in the first two or three months of 2008.”
Woosnam was most impressed with the region with its climate, proliferation of splendid courses, potential for course design projects and the warmth of the welcome.
“The golf here reminds me very much of Portugal,” he said after his brief initiation to golf in Southern Turkey. And he said it with the enthusiasm of a man who is confident that he has plenty of competitive golf ahead of him.
One firm date in his diary, as announced by the PGA European Tour, is the Parkridge Polish Seniors Championship at Krakow Valley G&CC from May 30 to June 1. Hopefully the Beko Classic has seen the start of a successful campaign for him to complete his comeback at that event, or before.
Liam Bond Defends in Strongest-ever Field
Welshman Liam Bond is to defend the Beko Classic International Pro-Am at Antalya, Turkey, on November 23-25 in the strongest field ever staged in the tournament’s 11-year history.
Along with Bond, who has been a dual winner in PGAs of Europe International Pro-Ams, the field includes such likely winners as 2006 European Cup Captain and former US Masters Champion, Ian Woosnam, Paul Way, Steve Richardson, DJ Russell and Mark Mouland along with former Beko winners Simon Edwards, Erol Simsek, Peter Scott and Senol Bay.
After 10 years at the Kemer G&CC, Istanbul, the tournament has moved south to be staged on the PGA-branded Sultan course with an increased prize fund of US$ 85,000. The players will be accommodated at the luxurious Kempinski ‘The Dome’ Hotel adjacent to the course.
Ian Woosnam Tops Field of Champions
Tthe annual Beko Classic International Pro-Am will move into its second decade at Antalya, Turkey, on November 23-25, with former US Masters Champion and successful European Cup Captain, IAN WOOSNAM, leading its strongest-ever field.
With an upgraded prize fund the 2007 tournament has attracted a field of champions, including three past Ryder Cup players, a number of European Tour winners, two British Club professional champions, several PGA Cup players, and five past Beko title-holders.
The outstanding field contains, in addition to Woosie, such names as Paul Way, Steve Richardson, Mark Mouland and DJ Russell along with former winners, Simon Edwards, Senol Bay and Liam Bond.
Antalya to Stage Beko 10-Year Milestone
The Beko Classic International Pro-Am, endorsed by the PGAs of Europe for the past six years, will celebrate its 10th anniversary by switching from its normal ‘home’ at Kemer G&CC, Istanbul, to Antalya in the south of Turkey on November 23/25.
Twenty-five invited PGA professionals will form the basis of the three-day tournament on the PGA Sultan Course in the heart of the thriving golfing destination of the Antalya-Belek area where outstanding new courses have mushroomed, and where tourism is growing by the year.
“The reason for the change of location is that, after 9 years in Istanbul, we wanted to do something special for the 10th anniversary,” explained David Clare, the Kemer Director of Golf who has been instrumental in the ever-increasing prestige of a tournament that has run side-by-side with the sport’s growth in Turkey.
“We feel that, by having all the pros and amateurs staying together in the 5-Star Kempinski hotel, situated on the golf course, it would give us a much more social atmosphere, after the golf, each evening.
“The amateurs, who form the teams, and who enjoy mixing socially with the pros, are mostly Kemer members who will travel south.”
The Beko-sponsored tournament was launched in 1998 with a handful of PGA pros mostly from the UK. David Clare, originally from the UK Northern Region, was appointed Director of Golf at Kemer soon after this and he extended the event by inviting a number of footballing personalities to travel from Britain and take part.
The link with well-known soccer celebrities helped to make golf more ‘cool’ in the eyes of the local football-mad teenagers and since David invited the PGAs of Europe to supply staff to run the event from 2001 onwards, it has grown in stature year by year.
Several former Ryder Cup players, including Philip Walton and Paul Way, have graced the event, along with European Tour veteran and Welsh international, Mark Mouland and champion golfers from various levels around Europe, including former Glenmuir British Club Pro champion Simon Edwards, twice a winner at Kemer.
The 10th anniversary tournament will see European Tour player, Liam Bond defend the title and, at this early stage, acceptances have been received also from such players as Paul Way, Duncan Muscroft and Kenneth Ferrie’s coach, John Harrison.