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2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe15 min read

Posted on: 28th Sep 2013

25-28 September 2013, Pravets Golf Resort and Spa, Bulgaria

PGA of Italy Professional, Federico Elli, carded a final round five-under par 67 to post a 14-under par total of 274, to become the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe and take home the €10,000 winner’s cheque.

As his rivals attempted to get close, the Italian continued his dominance of Pravets Golf & Spa Resort by making no less than seven birdies in his round. The final blow came on the last hole where after a cool and calm drive and second shot to the centre of the green was followed with a thundering 25-foot putt that rattled into the hole for his 14-under finish.

“It’s a great feeling to be Champion, I’m really touched by it and I don’t really know what to say,” explained the Italian Professional. “I had a really good round of golf today and it’s just amazing.”

It was a Swiss PGA contingent made up of Alec Roberts and Corsin Caviezel that were putting the pressure on the eventual winner with both finishing tied for second place on eight-under par (280), taking home €5,350 each.

“It was great playing in the last group with Federico,” said Roberts. “We were really having a lot of fun. There was a great moment on the putting green where everyone else had teed off and we said ‘hey, let’s enjoy this today, we don’t get to be in positions like this very often’, and we did – it was perfect.”

Elli led overnight by three shots and made a subdued start to his fourth round with two pars and a bogey at the third. But he changed gear to card three birdies in the next four holes, making the turn at 11-under overall. Then another run of three birdies in four holes propelled him away from the chasing pack, and not even a bogey at the 14th hole could slow him down as he made three straight pars, followed up with the grandstand finish birdie on the 18th.

“On 18 I preferred to take a risk with a driver as with a 2-iron I would have had a very long second-shot,” added Elli. “When I saw the putt go in I couldn’t believe it – it was a relief!”

The PGAs of Europe wish to thank all those involved in making the event a huge success, including UniCredit, Pravets Golf & Spa Resort, and the PGA Professionals each representing their home PGAs.

Full final results can be found here: http://eur.pe/17vapHk.


For more information on the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe visit the Tournament Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope and search #PassportToPravets on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.


Elli Eager to Claim #PassportToPravets

Italian PGA Professional Federico Elli has continued his dominance of the international field at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort, carding a two-under par 70 to lead by three on nine-under par going into the final round of the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe.

Elli’s start was not as smooth as he had hoped for after making a bogey on the first hole, but was able to come back from the shot deficit with four birdies in the next nine holes. Two bogeys and another birdie in the remainder of the nine allowed the Italian PGA Professional to remain under par for the day.

“I played pretty solid except for the first hole where I made a bogey, which came from being nervous maybe,” explained Elli. “In the end it was a good round but I made a couple of mistakes. As I said yesterday, there’s no strategy, I’m just going to shoot as low as I can.”

The Swiss PGA pair of Corsin Caviezel and Alec Roberts are both tied for second place after overnight co-leader, Roberts, posted a one-over par 73, whilst yesterday’s tied-for-fifth Professional, Caviezel, faired better with a three-under par 69.

“I got off to a great start with a birdie at the first hole, but then the driver didn’t work so well so I started missing fairways. With these greens the way they are you’ve got to be on the fairway to control the spin into the green,” said Roberts. “Overall I was happy with the score but not happy with how I played – I was fighting until the end.”

Caviezel also added, “I started good with a lucky birdie at number two, but then on the fifth I made a double-bogey and then a lot of pars. But I then started to make some birdies on the back nine and started to play some golf. I’m just going to try to be more aggressive on the greens because I need some birdies but I’ll just play and have fun.”

Craig Matheson (PGA of Great Britain & Ireland – Scotland) began his third round back nine with two birdies and an eagle, which took him to eight-under par. However, three bogeys in the last five holes reduced his attack on the lead to end up in fourth place at five-under.

Portugal’s António Rosado continued to play steady golf shooting another two-under par 70 for a four-under par total and fifth place.

Full Round 3 results can be found here: http://eur.pe/17vapHk.  The Final Round begins at 08:30am EEST.


For more information on the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe visit the Tournament Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope and search #PassportToPravets on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.


Roberts and Elli Bound Ahead at Pravets

Switzerland’s Alec Roberts and Italy’s Federico Elli made full use of the late-summer conditions to card rounds of 67 and 65 respectively to share the lead on seven-under par after two rounds at the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe.

Six birdies and one bogey from Roberts helped the Swiss Professional (pictured right) to capitalise on a steady two-under first round at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort, where soaring temperatures have left the course firm and quick.

“I played really well today and started to get a bit nervous so didn’t think about my score at all, I really had no idea coming up the last few holes. I just tried to take my time and not make any silly mistakes,” said the British-born, Swiss player. “It’s a fun course to play – even with a wedge in you still have some options.”

But round of the day came from Italian PGA Professional, Federico Elli (pictured left), whose seven-under 65 consisted of a single birdie on the front-nine and no less than six birdies in a row on the back-nine, equalling the tournament course record at Pravets Golf Club.

“It’s strange because it’s the first time that I’ve made six birdies in a row with a scorecard in my pocket so it’s a good feeling,” said the Italian of his stunning second round play. “I don’t have a strategy, I just try to play the best I can and that’s all.”

Hot on their heels is Scotland’s Craig Sutherland who carded a four-under 68 that included six birdies, to take a total of six-under par through to the third round.

“I played nicely today – I was two-over after five holes and had to dig deep really to get back to level,” explained Sutherland who carded six birdies in his round. “Some of the pin positions out there really determine whether you’re going to be able to hit it close or not, so you just have to be really patient – that’s really key out there.”

Fellow Scot, Craig Matheson, lies in fourth place at four-under par after a Round 1 72 and Round 2 68, whilst three players – Benjamin Nicolay (France), Corsin Caviezel (Switzerland) and Marin Stahan (Croatia) – sit at three-under for the tournament in a tie for fifth place.

Full Round 2 results can be found here: http://eur.pe/17vapHk.  Round 3 begins at 08:30am EEST.


For more information on the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe visit the Tournament Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope and search #PassportToPravets on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.


Skopovy Shines in Bulgarian Sun

PGA of Czech Republic Professional Petr Skopovy got his week started in style after carding a four-under-par 68 in Round 1 of the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe.

Skopovy’s steady round at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort in Bulgaria included 7 pars and 2 birdies on the front-nine and only one blemish bogey on the 14th, and has edged the Professional ahead by one shot going into Round 2.

“I played really well, I haven’t played like this for a long time so I really enjoyed it…it was a very good day,” said Skopovy (pictured right) of his performance. “The course is beautiful, it’s my first time here and I really enjoyed it.

“It means a lot to me to represent the PGA of Czech Republic out here – it’s a very nice thing when you have the chance to represent your country and it means that you are doing well at what you do.”

Three players are tied for second place – Andrew Hastie (PGA of Holland), Marin Stahan (PGA of Croatia) and Brian Lee (PGA of Wales) all carded three-under-par 69s in temperatures approaching 30 degrees.

“I played very nicely, drove the ball well and putted quite well too,” said Australian-born, Hastie. “I’m enjoying the course, it’s especially a good driving test so if you get the ball away well off the tee then it makes things a bit easier, but the greens are quick and sloping so you still have to be careful.”

Wales’ Brian Lee added: “I was looking for anything under par today – it’s a tough golf course, it’s set up well and the greens are quick. I tried to play cagey and keep it on the short stuff and at least try and control the ball into the greens as it’s extremely firm…overall I’m very happy.”

Four players are tied for fifth place on two-under-par, whilst over half of the field remain only five shots back from the lead with another three rounds to play.

Full Round 1 results can be found here: http://eur.pe/17vapHk.


For more information on the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe visit the Tournament Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope and search #PassportToPravets on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.


Hugo Hunting Hat-Trick at Pravets

Two-time UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Hugo Santos, is looking to make it a trio of wins at this week’s championship that returns to Pravets Golf and Spa Resort in Bulgaria for the third time.

The Portuguese Professional has represented his country on multiple occasions at international level, including numerous PGAs of Europe tournament appearances. Santos has also represented Portugal at the 2011 Mission Hills World Cup in China alongside his brother, Ricardo.

“It is with great pleasure that I return to Pravets for another championship with my fellow European club professionals,”said Santos, whose domination of the championship started with a playoff victory against the PGA of Holland’s Ben Collier in 2011, followed up in 2012 with a 20-foot putt on the last hole for his second win.

“It’s a course that I love and a place where I feel welcome. This year I will again try to be more focused on my game rather than defending the title, so we’ll see whether I am there at the end of the tournament!”

Santos will join fellow countryman António Rosado in his pursuit of the championship that was revived in 2011 after a six-year hiatus from the PGAs of Europe tournament schedule, as players from across the PGAs of Europe member countries compete for the €10,000 winner’s cheque.


For more information on the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe visit the Tournament Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope and search #PassportToPravets on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.


#PassportToPravets Field Assembling

The field of competitors representing their national PGAs is assembling for the championship that sees PGA Professionals working within the industry from across the PGAs of Europe Member Countries battle it out for the €10,000 first prize.

One of the first to confirm participation in the championship that returns to Pravets Golf & Spa Resort in Bulgaria from 25-28th September 2013 was two-time, defending champion from Portugal, Hugo Santos. Santos is currently riding a wave of form having won four-times in 2013 already, and is backed up by multiple international appearances at International level for Portugal, including representing the country at the Mission Hills World Cup in 2011.

No less than 4 of the 2013 PGA Cup Great Britain & Ireland team will be representing England in the Championship, in the form of David Callaway, Jonathan Barnes, Vice-Captain Jon Bevan, as well as the Glenmuir PGA Professional champion 2013, Daniel Greenwood:

“I am really pleased to have qualified for such a prestigious tournament and any chance to represent my country is great,” said Greenwood. “Winning the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship at Slaley Hall has given me the belief that I can not only compete in these types of tournament but I also have the opportunity to win them, so I’m very excited to visit Bulgaria and compete on a Europe level.”

Amongst Austria’s representation are Ronny Schinnerl and Florian Ruprecht, as well as two-time Austrian representative in the PGAs of Europe International Team Championship, and former Challenge, Alps and Canadian Tour player, Mike Burrows.

Two-time National PGA Champion of Croatia, Marin Stahan, will be competing alongside the likes of Belgian PGA and former Challenge Tour player, Gerald Gresse, together with one of Slovenia’s most successful professional players in the form of Daniel Kraljič who has represented the PGA of Slovenia in over 20 PGAs of Europe events.

Also returning to the championship are 2012 runners-up Lee Rooke representing Wales, and France’s Frédéric Cupillard, both of whom have national championship wins to their names.

The championship’s €60,000 prize fund will be contested over 72-holes of individual strokeplay golf and will be accompanied by a pre-event Pro-Am tournament.


For more information on the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe visit the Tournament Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope and search #PassportToPravets on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.


Passport to Pravets Qualifying Underway

PGAs of Europe Member Countries are lining up their champion members to qualify for this year’s UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe, which will be held at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort in Bulgaria from 25-28th September 2013. 

Now in its third year at Pravets Golf & Spa resort, the Championship is firmly established as the No. 1 individual playing target on the PGAs of Europe tournament schedule and the top competitors from each national will qualify to play.

The championship boasts a €60,000 prize fund and will be contested by an elite field of 60 professionals from the 39 member countries who will qualify through their national PGA Championships. The event is a 72-hole stroke play format and will be accompanied by a post-event Pro-Am tournament.

Qualifying tournaments are well underway with the first few qualifiers adding themselves to the start list and earning their Passport to Pravets for September, all looking to emulate two-time winner Hugo Santos from Portugal.


For more information on the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe visit the Tournament Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.


2012 Review – Portugal’s Hugo Santos Takes UniCredit 2012 PGA Professional Championship of Europe Title for the Second Time

After a hard-fought battle though changing weather conditions, Hugo Santos from Portugal came out on top becoming the UniCredit 2012 Professional Championship of Europe Champion for the second consecutive time, taking home a winners cheque for 10,000€.

Carding an even-par 72 final round score, to give a total of ten-under-par (278), Santos ensured he remained steady, composed and strategic as he negotiated the final stages of the round.

A strong fight was made from all three tied-for-second place competitors, Lee Rooke from Wales, Frederic Cupillard of France, and Mikel Galdos from Spain, all finishing at nine-under-par (279) for the championship.

The early stages of play shook things up, when the leading group all matched up to sit at ten-under-par through 6 holes, along with Rooke, after which Cupillard and Galdos each dropped a shot to leave Santos and Rooke at the top.

Steady rounds from all three eventual runners-up kept them in the hunt, but it was Santos who had his fair share of drama on the back-nine, making bogeys on fourteen and fifteen, and the pressure mounted as he neared the end of the round.

“The difficult part is when you start feeling the pressure, it’s more difficult to keep control,” Santos said. “On 17 when I was playing my tee-shot it started raining pretty heavy, but to be honest I almost didn’t feel the rain because of the pressure. It was a very important moment and that was key.”

But it was eventually Santos that took advantage of the situation and lined himself up for a twenty-foot putt on the last to take the win. Level-headed as always, Santos rolled the putt in to become the UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe for the second year running having won here at Pravets Golf Resort and Spa last year.

Santos said of successfully defending his title, “It felt more difficult this year – the trees are bigger, rough longer…but I’m really proud to represent our PGA. I had two or three moments like the second where I bogeyed but I recovered and it was enough!”


For more information on the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe visit the Tournament Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.