PGA of France Professional, Julien Gressier, has capped off a fantastic week at the PGA of South Africa World Club Pro-Am taking his first PGAs of Europe-Sanctioned Event title and the winner’s cheque for $33,285.
A week of golf celebration at every level was celebrated in KwaZulu-Natal as PGA Professionals and their amateurs battled it out for the prestigious title and trophy in the 3rd annual PGA of South Africa World Club Pro-Am.
Chief Executive of the PGA of SA, Ivano Ficalbi, addressed the golfers at the Closing Awards Ceremony saying that the World Club Pro-Am is a ‘bucket-list’ opportunity for networking and global friendships and thanked the teams for their endorsement and participation in 2016.
Keynote speaker, the HOD at the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Desmond Golding, said, “Golf has a fundamental economic benefit for KwaZulu-Natal, that ticks our box of indicators for growth, and we will continue to support this sporting category through this incredible event. We have seen the economic impact on our community when an event of this international stature takes place.”
“The tournament has grown in reputation and stature with a host of new countries competing this year. Our relationship with key partners and being the first African-based PGAs of Europe Sanctioned Event has formed a solid foundation to continue developing the tournament into the premier club championship on the PGA international golf calendar. After three years of incubation we now have the traction needed to take this championship to the participation we have always planned,” said Craig Clay-Smith, tournament spokesperson.
The PGA Professionals battled it out over 90-holes across four championship courses – Zimbali Country Club, Cotswold Downs Golf Estate, Prince’s Grant Golf Estate and the final two rounds at Durban Country Club.
After taking the lead at the end of Round 3, French PGA Professional, Julien Gressier (Chateau de Raray) converted his lead into a victorious win on a 190-point total and bagged the winner’s cheque of US$ 33,285. The World Club Pro-Am marks Gressier’s first PGAs of Europe tournament as well as his first tournament played in South Africa.
“It has been a great pleasure competing in this tournament and I have loved playing each course. The final round was a big struggle against a very worthy component Christoph Günther. I look forward to returning next year to compete again,” said Gressier.
Sharing the podium in a well earned 2nd place was German PGA Professional Christoph Günther, who finished on 187 points, three shots behind the winner Gressier and 14 shots ahead of last year’s title defender, Henrik Engdahl (Crete Golf Club, Greece) who finished 3rd on 173 total.
The final round of the World Club Pro-Am team event saw a surprise victory when the team from Project Golf Club (Germany) charged up the field in the final two rounds and clinched the trophy on a combined total of 331 points.
A consistent game throughout the tournament culminated in a well-deserved 2nd place finish from the team from Durban Country Club (South Africa). PGA Professional, Jason Bird, teamed up with the three amateurs, employed as Club’s caddies, who played their hearts out and savored every moment of their first ever international golf tournament.
This year a third event, the Amateur Individual Stableford Cup, was introduced for amateurs still seeking to challenge another 18 holes to fill their tournament quota on the last day. They teed-off at Durban Country Club alongside the tournament sponsors and VIP guests, but at the end of 18-holes it was amateur Andries Claasens (River Club, South Africa) who clinched the inaugural cup on a 38 point count back with Daniel Gavagnin (Project Golf, Germany).
“We would like to thank our partners, sponsors and every player for their valued support in making the 3rd Annual World Club Pro-Am a huge success,” concluded Event Management Director, Beverley Theron of Flagship Events.
LEADERBOARD FINAL ROUND
Professional Individual Stableford Championship
|1||Julien Gressier – Chateau de Raray||France||190|
|2||Christoph Günther – Project Golf||Germany||187|
|3||Henrik Engdahl – Crete Golf Club||Greece||173|
|T4||Michael du Toit – Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC||South Africa||170|
|T4||Kenneth Dube – Mananga||Swaziland||170|
|T4||Ben Fouchee – Paarl Golf Club||South Africa||170|
|T4||Steven Shearer – GC Stark Ansfeldon||South Africa||170|
Pro-Am 4-Ball Alliance
|1||Project Golf Club||Germany||331|
|2||Durban Country Club||South Africa||330|
|3||River Club||South Africa||328|
|4||Krugersdorp Golf Club||South Africa||326|
Amateur Individual Stableford