The 2016 Golfbreaks.com Fourball Championship culminated with another fine performance from PGA of Spain Professionals, Gerard Piris Metau and Ivo Giner after their closing 66 was enough to claim the title and the €7,500 first prize with a -25 total (189).
“We had a lot of fun out there and these three last days with my partner, he’s an amazing guy – everything has been perfect,” said Piris after the final round at Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club’s Lakes Course on the Costa Daurada.
“It was three challenging days,” added Giner. “Yesterday we had rain and today a lot of wind but we managed it really well and we played very good golf – no black dots [bogeys] anywhere.”
Scoring on the Lakes was a little more conservative than it had been on the previous few days proving to be a strong test for the 40 PGA professional pairs that made it through the two round cut. But the quality and strength of the local PGA Professionals was clear for all to see with seven pairs finishing in the top-ten.
But Piris & Giner were well aware that they needed to protect their overnight lead with a good final round, which they were able to do opening with two pars and a birdie at the third. A further birdie at eight along with two more at 10 and 13 put them in pole position with only a few holes remaining.
However, knowing that one of their closest rivals, Xavier Guzman & Juan Sarasti, were a few shots back meant the pair were aware that their solid birdies on the 18th were enough to take the Championship.
“Finally this year we have got a tour here in Spain,” said Giner. “So that gives us a lot of confidence to push hard and practice more and I think it’s very good for us to have a tournament here in the Costa Daurada at Lumine, as it is a very challenging course and we enjoyed it very much.”
Second place fell to Xavier Puig & Pep Angles (PGA of Spain) who kept their second place position intact throughout the day. Early birdies were cancelled out by two uncharacteristic bogeys in the front nine, but their incoming nine holes proved to be more lucrative. Three birdies helped get them back into the mix, but it was Angles’ crucial eagle on the 18th hole that moved them back in to second at -23 (191):
“On the last we thought the leaders were a little further away so we were just trying to get maybe third place or second place,” said Angles. “We hadn’t really made many long putts during the week so it was nice to finish on the last hole with probably the longest putt we made the whole three days!
“I think the region here has everything – it’s by the sea, it has mountains, all the tourism with people coming from other places. I think the courses are really good…especially at Lumine with 45-holes it is really nice.”
Third place was shared between another two PGA of Spain pairs, Javier and Manuel Ballesteros – son and nephew of the late, great Seve Ballesteros – and Xavier Guzman & Juan Sarasti, both of whom finished at -22 (192).
“I made two birdies and Manuel made five,” said Javier Ballesteros. “And on many holes I played alone and on others Manuel did so we were lucky maybe that we made birdies or pars when left alone.
“The Members are important for the PGA, and the PGA is important for the Members, and in Spain there have always been many good players so that’s a reason why most of the pairs at the top were Spanish.
“I’ve never been here before but the region looks like a great place with some good golf courses, beaches and though we are in the winter it has been really nice and a great place to come.”
For more information on the PGAs of Europe Golfbreaks.com Fourball Championship visit the Tournament Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter search the Hashtag ‘#FourballChamps’, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.
With thanks to Golfbreaks.com (www.Golfbreaks.com/pga-pro), LUMINE Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club visit (www.lumine.com), Costa Daurada (www.CostaDaurada.info), Cambrils (www.Cambrils-Tourism.com), La Pineda Platja (www.LaPinedaPlatja.info), and Salou (www.visitsalou.eu).