By Valdemar Afonso
Irishman Gerry O'Connor won the 33rd Vilamoura Grand Trophy, snatching the title from Portuguese Manuel Cândido de Oliveira, who won the tournament before the interruption caused by the pandemic.
This year the tournament, organized by Dom Pedro, brought together 280 players from ten countries and took place in three Dom Pedro courses in Vilamoura, all in excellent condition – Victoria, Old Course and Pinhal.
Gerry O'Connor, player of the third categories, won with 217 net shots in the three rounds (74-72-71). In second place was Teresa Melo Cabral (4th category) with 219 (75-74-70) followed by Joana Meireles (2nd category) also with 219 (75-73-71).
The champion Gross was the British Robert Barry with 235 strokes (73-79-83) By category, of the 32 trophies distributed, eleven were for Portuguese players. Ladies: Gross - Olga Karasik and Isabel Guedes. Net – Maria Celeste Duarte, Arminda Von Kaenel and Maria José Pinto. Men: Gross – Manuel Lopes Barata and Rui Mário Meireles. Net – Pedro Torres, Vitor Saramago, Serafim Carvalho and Rui Martins.
On the third day of the tournament, Englishman David Whaley made a hole-in-one on hole 4 of the Old Course, the “par 3” with 150 meters and the only lake on the course in the middle.
The prizes were distributed during the gala dinner at Casino de Vilamoura, ending with the “show” on display at Casinos do Algarve.
The Grande Troféu, the biggest amateur tournament that takes place annually in Portugal and also a great promoter of tourism in the Algarve, took place this year with some wind but sun during the four days (training and game).
Montebelo Golf, in Viseu, will now have a FootGolf course, a sport that is growing internationally, with the “kick-off” at the end of October, the date on which the new sport becames available on the course of Visabeira Turismo.
It is an old story, which seems to return now (again) in force. We were in the 90s, when Greg Norman pushed the idea of an innovative world circuit, reserved only for the best among the best.