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ITC 201212 min read


Posted on: 23rd Nov 2012

November 20-23, Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, Portugal

The PGAs of Europe 2012 International Team Championship with play host to over 20 teams from all across Europe in what should be a stunning test of golf at the Alvor course at Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, in the Western part of Portugal’s Algarve region.

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Scotland in Seventh Heaven on the Algarve

Scotland turned the final round of The PGAs of Europe International Team Championship on Portugal’s Algarve into a victory procession to win the competition for a seventh time.

Having led the Glenmuir-sponsored tournament from the start, albeit in tandem with England on day one, the Scots increased their dominance as it unfolded.

Or they did until to the final round over the Alvor Course at the Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort.

Then, with a challenge from England or France, who were second and third respectively overnight, failing to materialise, the Scots did not have to move through the gears to claim the €6,000 winner’s cheque.

Five clear of the 25-strong field at the beginning of the day, the Scots had almost doubled their advantage when David Orr was left with a tap in for par at the 18th hole.

That left them 16-under-par for the tournament, the same total they had ended round three.

But with England and France effectively going backwards and Holland left with too much to do after starting the round a dozen shots adrift, there was never any danger of the Scots snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

All of which made the forecast of French captain Benjamin Nicolay prior to the final round spot on.

“Scotland will be tough to beat,” said Nicolay, who led the French to victory last year. “I think we’ll be fighting for second place now.”

In the event France had to settle for fourth place, 10 strokes behind the Scots, and he was right on both counts.

While England and Holland, inspired by sub-par rounds from Robin Swane and Ralph Miller, scrapped for the runner’s up birth and ended up sharing it, Scotland strengthened their grip on the trophy.

And they did so without having to produce the high-octane golf that had lit up their first three rounds.

Then Orr and Gareth Wright had hogged the limelight, this time it was David Patrick’s turn.

His one-under-par 71 was the pick of the Scottish trio and typified what Orr believes is their strength.

“We’re all very good golfers but we dovetail well as a team,” he said. “That was apparent today and has been all week as we’ve all played our part.

Seven sub par rounds and another two in regulation out of the dozen the Scots played was evidence of the consistency.

Equally important for Orr was the experience of his trio.

“We’ve got more than 200 Challenge Tour and 50 European Tour appearances between us and that helped us today,” he explained.

“Once we’d gone five clear at the end of the third round, I was more relaxed because I felt we had the experience and know-how to see the job through.”

Scotland’s victory also ended a six-year famine in the competition, their last success coming in 2006 a year after Orr won a Europro Challenge Tour tournament at the same venue.

“The course has been revamped since then and is a lot different now,” he added. “But I’ve always had fond memories of the place and they’re even fonder now.”

Denmark’s Danny Jorgensen is another who will go away from Onyria Palmares with fond memories after a hole-in-one at the par three second. As he will Portugal.

“It was the third of my career,” he said, “and two of them have been in Portugal.

“I took a five-iron and I saw the ball bounce before rolling into the hole. Obviously I was delighted, especially as it helped me produce my best round of the week.”

Meanwhile, three players shared the honours in terms of the best individual performances over the four rounds: Swane, Wright and England’s Stuart Little all ended the week six-under-par.

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For updates, results and news from the International Team Championship 2012, visit the ITC Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

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Captain Orr Keeps Scotland on Course for Victory

David Orr (below) played the part of Captain Marvel to perfection as Scotland intensified their dominance of The PGAs of Europe International Team Championship on Portugal’s Algarve.

Three strokes clear at the start of the penultimate round, the Scots had almost doubled their advantage at the end of it thanks to Orr’s tour de force display and another sub-par round from Gareth Wright.

With one round of the Alvor Course at the Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort to negotiate, Scotland are five strokes clear of England and seven ahead of France, the defending champions.

All of which means the €6,000 winner’s cheque is the Scots to lose on the final day.

“It’s a great position to be in,” admitted Orr after sinking a birdie putt at the par four 18th to card a five-under-par 67.

The way Orr completed his round, with a short putt that followed an exquisite backspin-laden pitch, was at odds with an inauspicious bogey, bogey start.

“I three-putted the first and then bogeyed the second,” he added. “But I played almost flawless golf after that. I had seven birdies in the last 16 holes and it’s fair to say I left a couple more shots out there.”

Orr’s round was Scotland’s best of the tournament thus far, eclipsing the 68 Wright posted in the first round.

Wright followed that with a 69 before weighing in with a one-under-par 71 to remain the tournament’s leading individual, one ahead of England’s Stuart Little and two clear of Orr.

David Patrick, the third member of the Scottish trio who had a rare off day, lies joint 11th in the individual rankings and Orr stressed: “It’s been a real team effort to get this far.

“We dovetail very well and the fact that we finished third, fourth and fifth in the Scottish region’s Order of Merit reflects that.”

Little, meanwhile, kept England’s faltering hopes of victory alive with a four-under-par 68.

It also ensured England remain in second place, a position that could be under threat from the French for whom Benjamin Nikolay (pictured, right) produced a real captain’s display as well as the round of the tournament so far.

The French lie third on seven-under for the tournament, four strokes adrift of England after Nikolay, who led them to victory last year, posted a six-under-par round of 66.

“I’m very happy with that,” said Nikolay following a round that featured seven birdies and a solitary blemish – at the 11th.

“We certainly needed it. Now we have to duplicate it again tomorrow to stand any chance of winning.”

Nikolay admitted, however, it will be very difficult to cancel out Scotland’s nine stroke lead.

“Scotland will be tough to beat,” he added. “I think we’re fighting for second place now.”

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For updates, results and news from the International Team Championship 2012, visit the ITC Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

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Scotland Move into the Fast Lane

Scotland turned up the heat in The PGAs of Europe International Team Championship by putting daylight between themselves and the rest of the field at the halfway stage.

The Scottish trio had begun the second round sharing pole position with England after negotiating the Alvor Course at the Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort on Portugal’s Algarve in seven-under-par.

Come the end of it, however, Gareth Wright, David Patrick and David Orr had claimed sole occupation after establishing a three-stroke advantage over the rest of the 25-strong field.

Patrick and Orr both carded level par rounds of 72 while Wright was Scotland’s main man for the second day running as they boosted their chances of earning the €6,000 first prize.

Wright, who won the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship at England’s Carden Park in the summer, reprised his first round form by posting a three-under-par 69.

And, as well as accounting for the difference that now separates the Scots and the English, Wright’s round was also the joint best round of the day.

He shared that distinction with Portugal’s Nelson Cavalheiro but did so after overcoming an inauspicious start that saw him bogey the first hole.

A birdie at the 358 yard fifth erased that rare blemish before Wright moved into overdrive on the back nine and posted three more.

England, by contrast, fell away in the back nine after establishing a two-shot advantage over the Scots during the outward half.

The left-handed Stuart Little (pictured above), who posted 71, was the only one of the trio to break par while Steve Parry, whose opening day 67 remains the best of the tournament to date, carded 73.

Craig Shave, the team’s third member, also posted a one-over par 73 to give England a two-round total of 281.

As well losing ground to the Scots in their bid to win the Glenmuir-sponsored tournament, the six stroke advantage they enjoyed over third place has been reduced to five following a superb day for the Dutch.

Inspired by English-born PGA professional Ralph Miller and Robin Swane, who both posted two-under par rounds of 70, the Netherlands’ combined total of 140 was the best of the day.

Their two-day total of 286 also leaves them as one of just four teams under par at the halfway point; defending champions France, for whom Jean Pierre Cixous posted 70, complete the quartet on 287.

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For updates, results and news from the International Team Championship 2012, visit the ITC Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

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England and Scotland Set the Standard

England and Scotland moved swiftly into overdrive on Portugal’s Algarve and turned the opening round of The PGAs of Europe International Team Championship into the equivalent of a domestic skirmish.

The two trios negotiated the Alvor Course at the Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort in seven-under-par to leave their pursuers in the 25-strong field playing catch up in the chase for the €6,000 winner’s cheque.

At the end of the first of four rounds, catch-up for third-placed Ireland means eradicating a deficit of six strokes.

South Africa lie a shot behind while defending champions France face an even taller order: Benjamin Nikolay’s team share fifth place with Germany, a shot further adrift.

With the best two of the three scores counting, Steve Parry (67) led the way for England and was supported by Stuart Little and Craig Shave who both posted 70.

Meanwhile, Gareth Wright (68) proved Scotland’s inspiration while David Patrick weighed in with 69 and David Orr finished one-under on 71.

Parry was responsible for the best round of the day: a five-under-par return that featured an eagle on the 462 yard 15th.

Wright also carded an eagle – on the 496 yard 13th. For Scotland’s trail-blazer, however, it was very much a case of what might have been.

“To be honest, although it’s a good score, I’m a bit disappointed,” admitted Wright, the Glenmuir PGA Professional Champion.

“I missed a short putt for an eagle on the 15th and another on the 17th. There were also a couple of putts that horse-shoed and several other short ones didn’t drop. I was striking the ball well from tee to green and it could have been really silly if my putting had matched my approach play.

Wright, along with his two compatriots, is making his debut in the Glenmuir sponsored event and, in contrast to his self-criticism, he was fulsome in his praise for the venue.

“The course is fantastic,” he added. “It’s in great condition and great to play on. It’s very fair and rewards you if you are playing well.”

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For updates, results and news from the International Team Championship 2012, visit the ITC Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

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Teams Ready Themselves for PGAs of Europe 2012 International Team Championship

With less than a week to go until the PGAs of Europe 2012 International Team Championship, teams from all across Europe are readying themselves for what should be a stunning test of golf at the Alvor course at Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, in the Western part of Portugal’s Algarve region.

Supported by Glenmuir, Associaçäo Turismo do Algarve, Hotel Vila Galé Lagos and Ryder Cup European Development Trust, the tournament will feature 25 teams from the far reaches of the continent competing for the €35,000 prize fund, playing a 72-hole strokeplay competition with the best two individual scores from the Team of three counting towards the overall Team score.

Last year’s Champions, France, return to the tournament to defend their title, however, with a different venue in play than that of 2011’s hosts Vale do Lobo, it is a tough tournament to call, as each of the teams are represented by some of the nationalities’ most outstanding professional players.

For live updates, results and news from the 2012 ITC, keep checkingwww.pgae.com, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

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Parry ‘chuffed’ to play for England

It’s a great honour, he says…

Steve Parry admits he’s “chuffed to bits” to represent England in next week’s European International Team Championship at the Palmares Beach Resort in Portugal.

The 34-year-old Bolton-born professional, who runs his own golf academy at Westhoughton club Hart Common, earned his place in the three-man side for finishing third in the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship at De Vere Carden Park in August.

“It’s a great honour,” said former Leeds Cup winner Parry who will be joined in Portugal by former European Tour player Stuart Little, who’s attached to Minchinhampton, and Leicestershire’s Craig Shave.

“The only time I’ve played for my country was in the English Schools’ Championship as a lad,” he recalled.

England finished fourth at Vale do Lobo last year, 11shots adrift of winners France, in an event that attracts 26 teams.

“Hopefully we can do better this time and add further sporting glory to a summer littered with British sporting success,” added Parry, who this season finished second in the PGA North Region Order of Merit which he won two years ago.

His success in the Glenmuir also qualified him to play in the European UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe in Bulgaria in September where he shared 11th place.

Four days of action start at Palmares on Tuesday.

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