Europe’s top professional golfers and amateurs took part in the 2012 UniCredit PGAs of Europe Pro-Am on Sunday 16th 2012. The Pro-Am precedes the UniCredit PGAs of Europe Championship in which the top professionals will compete over four rounds of golf for a 60,000 Euro prize fund.
The professionals include defending champion Hugo Santos (representing the UniCredit Team in the Pro-Am in 2012) who defeated Ben Collier in a thrilling play-off in 2011.
The Pro-Am, in which the top professionals are partnered by three amateurs to make up a team, included top local golfers amongst whom was one of Bulgaria’s burgeoning talents, Lubo Kostov playing for the team of Mazda in the Pro-Am. The young golfer will soon be part of the Bulgarian National Team representing Bulgaria in the World Amateur Golf Team Tournament to be played in Turkey.
The Pro-Am teams had to battle the elements to get around and card their scores, but the team headed up by Professional Oren Geri, came out on top, leading by two-shots over the tied for second Fredrik Almskoug-led team and the Lukas Lizanek-led team (click here to view the full Pro-Am leaderboard). Prizes for the Pro-Am were handed out within the welcome ceremony and were donated by Mazda, Glenfiddich, RIU and Domaine Boyar.
PGAs of Europe CEO Ian Randell congratulated the 80 children from the local schools taking part in the Pravets Golf Club Junior Programme funded by the PGAs of Europe at a Mini-Pro Am held for the youngsters at the Pravets Golf Academy. Volleyball legend Lubo Ganev handed out certificates to the children who had completed the programme.
The Opening Ceremony was presided over by Minister of Sports Svilen Neikov, PGAs of Europe CEO Ian Randell and UniCredit Bulbank CEO Levon Hampartsumian and Vasil Zlatev Manager of Terra Tour Service owner of the Resort and Golf Course who were introduced by CEO of Terra Tour Service, Lachezar Todorov.
This event is of inestimable value to growing and developing the sport of golf on an international level and showcasing Bulgaria on a global scale as one of the newest golfing destinations in Europe. The fact that Bulgaria was presented with the Undiscovered Golf Destination award in 2011 by IAGTO was no coincidence with the number of excellent courses in the country and certainly the RIU Pravets Resort and Pravets Golf Club are amongst the best in the country.
The Pravets Golf Club, managed by Braemar Golf, was presented in a perfect condition for the professionals who were vocal in their praise for the course, the resort and the development of golf in Bulgaria.