Success At Last for Martinez
Aegean Airlines Pro-Am (Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus)
Zeke Martinez, one of the greatest supporters of PGAs of Europe tournaments over the last 12 years, had a satisfying feeling of ‘at last’ in his celebrations as he came in with a superbly-timed late run to win the Aegean Airlines Pro-Am and take home a winner’s cheque in the series for the first time.
To do so, last year’s Aegean runner-up to Nicolo Gaggero (Italy) had to battle back not once but twice….first from a disappointing second round four-over – following a first-round 70 – then to his triumphant final 68 climaxed by birdies at 17 and 18 when earlier he leaked four shots in three holes.
The Californian-born former tour pro, pictured above receiving his €7,000 winners cheque from chairman of Aegean Airlines, Mr Theodore Vassilakis, has, for many years, been attached to the Lamborghini club in Italy, had six birdies in what proved to be his winning charge and thus collected his well-deserved reward for the persistency of regular appearances on PGAs of Europe leader boards.
Martinez’s victory march, boasting the only red figures of the final round, was substantially aided by those around him among the possible victors going backwards, especially the overnight favourite, Liam Bond (right), who surrendered his two-shot lead dramatically on six over par.
This closing 76 took him to 214 but since, like him on the day, none of the others could conquer the demands of the excellent but difficult golf course, he was able to claim runner-up prize ahead of the trio of Paul Archbold (Germany), Jonathan Fransson (Sweden) and Gaggero.
Archbold’s 70 was the second best round of the day boosted by a final-hole birdie in an unblemished back-nine but in contrast there were hard-luck stories galore, not the least from early front runners Gaggero with a 77 and Martin Dewhurst (Austria) and former winner Henrik Engdahl, the Crete-based Swede, who both shot 80.
Bond was more successful in the overall Pro-Am event leading his team to first place and earning a winners cheque for €1,500. The winning team of Liam Bond, Hans Otto Nagel, Konstantinos Petrogiannis and Nikos Gerostathopoulos can be seen left collecting their prizes.