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ITC 201312 min read


Posted on: 13th Dec 2013

December 10-13, Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, Portugal

The PGAs of Europe 2013 International Team Championship with play host to 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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International Team Championship goes Dutch and ends drought

Holland held their nerve on Portugal’s Algarve to win The PGAs of Europe International Team Championship and end a 22-year ITC drought.

In doing so, and having finished joint second last year, the Dutch trio of Ralph Miller, Robin Swane and Nicolas Nube turned the tables on Scotland at the Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort.

Twelve months ago Holland had trailed the Scots by nine strokes – this time they finished two ahead of them to claim the €6,000 first prize.

But, as that victory margin suggests, it was a close run thing. And not just the battle between them.

With three strokes spanning the top five teams, the result remained in doubt until Swane negotiated the par four final hole of the Alvor course in regulation to clinch victory and ensure his nation’s name was inscribed on the trophy for the first time since 1991.

For Swane, the Dutch captain, and his teammates this triumph was a first, however. Furthermore it reflected the growing standard of golf among his compatriots.

“The three members of the team are all Dutch-born players,” he said. “That wasn’t the case before when we were represented by overseas players.”

All three players performed well but it was Miller that was Holland’s ace in the pack. Having broken the course record in the third round by posting an eight-under-par 64, the Dutch pro, who has an American father and Dutch mother, followed up with a three-under-par 69.

That coupled with Swane’s two-over was sufficient for the Dutch to maintain the two-stroke lead they held at the start of the final round of the tournament which was supported by Glenmuir, the Associaçäo Turismo do Algarve and Ryder Cup European Development Trust.

Miller’s round also ensured he finished level with Scotland’s Graham Fox as the tournament’s leading individual on two-under-par for the four rounds.

Completing the trio of players from the 26 teams who were under par for the tournament was Sweden’s Magnus Atlevi who signed off with a 69 to finish on one-under.

For others, however, the event was very much a case of what might have been, especially the Irish.

Needing to par the last to force a play-off, Brendan McGovern posted a triple bogey seven. Even more punitive was the 10 John Kelly racked up at the fifth en route to a one-over-par 73. For once the luck of the Irish was conspicuous by its absence.

Leading scores (after fourth and final round): Holland +3; Scotland +5; Denmark, Wales and Ireland +6; Italy +9; Sweden +11.

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For updates, information and news from the 2013 International Team Championship, visit the ITC Tournament Hub Page (http://eur.pe/11EBSkF).

The 2013 Annual Congress & ITC are supported by Glenmuir, the Associação Turismo do Algarve, Hotel Vila Galé Lagos, Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, and the European Ryder Cup Development Trust. For more information on our partners, visit http://eur.pe/1aaFFgx.

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Championship contenders form a lengthy queue

The wind that continues to ravage The PGAs of Europe International Team Championship on Portugal’s Algarve is proving anything but an ill one in terms of making the tournament competitive. 

At the halfway stage of the event at the Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort almost a third of the 26-strong field harbours realistic hopes of claiming €6,000 first prize.

Five strokes span the leading eight teams after a second round during which, somewhat perversely, the wind was stronger than on the first day but individual scores improved.

As at the end of the opening circuit of the Alvor Course, Denmark occupy pole position but do so in isolation after Holland, their overnight cohabitants, faltered.

So much so that defending champions Scotland, Ireland and Sweden, who are all two strokes adrift of the Danes in second place, have climbed above them.

Greg McBain (74) was the Scots’ standard bearer, Cian McNamara (73) and Brendan McGovern (74) followed suit for Ireland, while Magnus Atevi (pictured above) proved Sweden’s ace with a one-under-par round of 71.

Atevi is just one of two players to defy to combination of a challenging course in excellent condition and the elements and post a sub-par round. The other is Germany’s Dennis Lohrmann (pictured below) who, curiously, was in the same three-ball as the Swede.

There, though, and aside from their final score, the similarities ended. The German enjoyed a high-octane outward half, posting four birdies and just one bogey. Two birdies followed on the way home but were spoiled by a double and two single bogeys.

By contrast, Atevi made less spectacular but equally effective progress with a brace of birdies in each half, successes compromised by a single bogey in the front nine and another two during the inward half.

Meanwhile, the Danes were indebted to Martin Hansen for maintaining their hold on first place in the event, which is supported by Glenmuir, the Associaçäo Turismo do Algarve and Ryder Cup European Development Trust.

Hansen posted a level par round of 72 as did Lee Rooke of Wales and Portugal’s Hugo Santos.

Rooke, winner of the Asbri-sponsored Welsh National PGA Championship in October, and Jon Bevan (74) were instrumental in Wales joining the French in sixth place, four shots off the pace.

However, Santos, twice winner of the UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe, lacked a helping hand to light the blue touch paper and ignite Portugal’s challenge.

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For updates, information and news from the 2013 International Team Championship, visit the ITC Tournament Hub Page (http://eur.pe/11EBSkF).

The 2013 Annual Congress & ITC are supported by Glenmuir, the Associação Turismo do Algarve, Hotel Vila Galé Lagos, Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, and the European Ryder Cup Development Trust. For more information on our partners, visit http://eur.pe/1aaFFgx.

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Wind fails to blow Denmark and Holland off course

Brutal, tough and a struggle were some of the more restrained reactions at the end of a wind-ravaged opening round of The PGAs of Europe International Team Championship on Portugal’s Algarve.

Wind fuelled turbulence on the adjacent Mediterranean Sea was replicated on the Alvor Course at the Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort and reflected by the scores after the first of four rounds.

The tournament is supported by Glenmuir, the Associaçäo Turismo do Algarve and Ryder Cup European Development Trust and that Holland and Denmark head the 26-strong field with a score of five-over is testament to the havoc wrought by Mother Nature.

Likewise the fact that Scotland, the defending champions who lie third on six-over, posted an opening return of seven-under at the same venue 12 months ago.

Captained again by David Orr, the Scottish trio was indebted to one of its two new members – Graham Fox (picture right) – for an impressive start.

His level par round of 72 was the best of the day. Nevertheless Fox, who is attached to Clydeway Golf, Glasgow, was left to rue what might have been after a double bogey at the final hole. And that that followed an eagle at the par five 17th only served to compound his frustration.

“It was a good start but the double bogey was a real disappointment,” he said. “It was pretty tough out there – we were having to take four irons for shots of 160 yards.”

Similarly, Ralph Miller (pictured above) and Jacob Nordestgaard, the key contributors for Holland and Denmark respectively, were left to ponder ifs, buts and maybes.

Miller, the Dutch-based English PGA Professional, was two-under at the turn but, with the wind even more malevolent on the back nine, ended what he described as a ‘brutal’ round one-over.

Nordestgaard (pictured left), also finished one-over after a round that featured five birdies but was pock-marked with a double and four single bogeys.

He, too, found the going difficult and said: “Every hole was a real struggle. Thankfully I putted well and my iron play was good. It needed to be in those conditions.”

Nordestgaard, who is making his first appearance in a tournament which his nation has yet to win, was supported by Morten Hedergaard. He completed his round in four-over, the same as Holland’s Robin Swane.

Fox, meanwhile, was supported by Orr who finished on six-over, a round that ensured a three-stroke advantage over France, Ireland, Spain and Sweden who share fourth place.

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For updates, information and news from the 2013 International Team Championship, visit the ITC Tournament Hub Page (http://eur.pe/11EBSkF).

The 2013 Annual Congress & ITC are supported by Glenmuir, the Associação Turismo do Algarve, Hotel Vila Galé Lagos, Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, and the European Ryder Cup Development Trust. For more information on our partners, visit http://eur.pe/1aaFFgx.

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26 Nationalities Prepared for International Team Championship Battle

The 2013 PGAs of Europe International Team Championship gets underway this week at Onyria Palmares on Portugal’s Algarve coast, and will see 26 Member PGAs compete for the coveted ITC Crown.

Returning for its 24th year on the PGAs of Europe calendar, the ITC sees the top PGA Professionals from across the continent play in teams of three with the best two gross rounds from the team counting towards the four-round total.

The ITC runs alongside the PGAs of Europe Annual Congress and both events are supported by Glenmuir, the Associaçäo Turismo do Algarve, and Ryder Cup European Development Trust, whilst players and Congress Delegates all stay under one roof at the fabulous facilities of Hotel Vila Gale Lagos. The ITC Winners will also be presented their trophy at the Gala Dinner along with the Annual Awards supported by Rolex.

2012 ITC Winners, Scotland (pictured alongside Glenmuir’s Colin Mee (left)), return this year and David Orr who was part of that winning team will feature alongside Graham Fox and Greg McBain as they attempt to defend their title to take their tally to eight championships.

But there will be strong competition from the likes of Italy whose team includes the 2013 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Federico Elli, along with highly experienced Professionals Emanuele Canonica and Marco Bernardini.

Also offering up a strong challenge will be the likes of 2011 winners France – Benjamin Nicolay, Frederic Cupillard and Bertrand Cornut; the strong Dutch contingent of Ralph Miller, Robin Swane and Nicolas Nube; England’s Greenwood, David Callaway and Nick Brennan, all of whom are members of the 2013 PGA Cup team.

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For updates, information and news from the 2013 International Team Championship, visit the ITC Tournament Hub Page (http://eur.pe/11EBSkF).

The 2013 Annual Congress & ITC are supported by Glenmuir, the Associação Turismo do Algarve, Hotel Vila Galé Lagos, Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, and the European Ryder Cup Development Trust. For more information on our partners, visit http://eur.pe/1aaFFgx.

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2012 Review – 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.”