The PGA in Ireland cruised to a sensational victory at Costa Navarino in Greece after shooting the lowest International Team Championship (ITC) rounds of the week to take the title by an incredible 16 shots.
Building on their sizable overnight lead of six shots, the PGA in Ireland Team made up of Simon Thornton, David Higgins and Mark Staunton, quickly pulled further clear of the rest of the field.
Delgany Golf Club’s Staunton certainly saved the best till last with a sublime final round 64 (-7), which ensured that the PGA in Ireland would be taking the ITC home for the third time in the Championship’s history.
Simon Thornton provided the other score after signing for a final round 70 (-1), cementing their position at the top of the leaderboard at 19-under par.
Team Captain, David Higgins, said “We’re delighted – it’s fantastic to represent our own PGA and win this prestigious event – we are over the moon. There have been 5-600 guys back home rooting for us and we’ve done the job – we came all the way over here, played great and we’re going home with the trophy so it’s fantastic.”
“A place like this then you’d want to come back week after week,” Thornton added. “Especially in the middle of November, playing in the sun and the golf course being in the condition it is then why would you not want to come back.”
With the winners seemingly untouchable it was between the PGA of Holland, PGA in Scotland, PGA of Italy, PGA in Wales and the PGA of Greece to battle it out for the podium.
The PGA in Wales team moved into the top three midway through the final round however it was the PGA of Holland and PGA in Scotland who eventually shared the honours in tied second position.
The International Team Shield event once again gave those representing a PGA with 100 members or fewer the chance to compete alongside the larger PGAs in the ITC, whilst also enjoying their own competition and prize fund.
The PGA of Greece were able to come out on top having held the lead in the Shield event for the opening three rounds, closing with 72s (1 over par) from Chryssanthos Diakou and Themis Ginis.
The Greek team secured a record sixth place finish in the overall ITC event and their first win in the Shield event:
“I feel very proud to be part of this team – we have accomplished something that has never happened before in Greece,” said Team Captain, Christos Nikopoulos. “We have beaten many PGAs that have a lot of members, so we believe it is very important for the next generation too and we have set the level a bit higher.”
For more information on the 2017 International Team Championship, visit the ITC Tournament Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2017ITC).