Hugues Joannes is ready for some Madeira

We were delighted to arrive at the Seve designed Quinta do Vale golf course and be greeted with warm sunshine and a course prepared to a high standard for the players.

With several Challenge Tour players in the field warming up for The Madeira Islands Open in a couple of weeks time, and given the lighter than normal winds the scoring was expected to be on the low side.

And this proved to be the case with three of the regular Challenge Tour guys filling the top of the leader board,

Hugues Joannes
Hugues Joannes from Belgium sat on top with a 5 under par 67, followed by local hero Ricardo Melo Gouveia and Scotland’s own Duncan Stewart on 4 under par.

A strong Portuguese contingent were in close pursuit of the leaders with Miguel Gaspar on 3 under and Tiago Cruz on 2 under alongside Ruaidhri McGee and Jamie McLeary from The Challenge Tour.

After heavy mist finally cleared away the second day again provided a clear blue sky with warm sunshine and battle commenced, on time at 8-30.

Amongst the early birds was the 2013 Amateur Champion Garrick Porteous who shot an uncharacteristic 11 over par 83 in the first round.

Porteous recovered the situation with a fine second round 4 under par round 68 that concluded with a run of 6 closing birdies!

Joannes was cruising along very nicely and reached 9 under par after 13 holes to hold a 5 shot lead over McGee, who was several groups ahead and with the rest of his challengers falling away it looked like a walk in the park for Joannes.

However a bogey on the fifteenth reduced his lead to 3 shots after McGee had earlier made birdie on the same hole.

McGee then birdied the last two holes to set a clubhouse target of 7 under par leaving Joannes with just a slender one shot lead with a difficult finish to come.

Joannes then quickly closed the door on McGee and put things beyond doubt with a tremendous birdie on the treacherous seventeenth hole and a cool par on the last saw him home a winner by two shots.

The final event of our season will soon be with us and we are working hard on the next season already which starts in October with a full schedule of 18 events ending in March 2016.

We will be releasing dates and venues shortly so please keep visiting the Algarve Pro Golf Tour website and keep up to date with the latest news.

Armitage Seals the Deal

Marcus Armitage cemented his place in The Madeira Islands Open with some spectacular golf, especially in the first round when he blazed around the Castro Marim course in a blemish free 8 under par 64 to take a slender 2 shot lead into the second day.

Hot on the heels of Armitage was Belgian Challenge Tour player Hugues Joannes who compiled an interesting 6 under par 66 to head the chasing pack that included Aaron Rai on 3 under par and the former British Amateur Champion Garrick Porteous, who put together a solid 2 under par round of 70.

Marcus Armitage

Castro Marim winner, Marcus Armitage

The Portuguese interest was represented by the experienced Antonio Sobrinho on 2 under par and multiple Algarve Pro Golf Tour winner Tiago Cruz on one under the card.

A very rare bird was spotted on the par 4 ninth hole when Matthew Moseley holed in one for an Albatross to win a special €100 bonus prize. Drinks all round!!!!!

The second day started in glorious sunshine and as the day developed it became apparent that Marcus Armitage was in control of the tournament after Joannes stumbled out in 2 over par compared to the 3 under par of Armitage.

An Eagle on the very testing twelfth hole saw Armitage increase his lead of seven shots but only by just the one shot after Joannes made Birdie.

Armitage made his only slip of the tournament on the thirteenth where he took a nasty double bogey 7 to give Joannes a glimmer of hope but even though Joannes birdied the sixteenth and seventeenth he could only reduce the deficit to 4 shots as Armitage parred the last to win comfortably.

Tiago Cruz added a fine 4 under par 68 to his first round 71 to head the Portuguese challenge alongside Pedro Figueiredo who came back with a 5 under par 67 to limit the damage of a disappointing 73 in the first round.

We now head to Quinta do Vale for the penultimate tournament in the final swing and again there is a strong Challenge Tour presence as players warm up for The Madeira Islands Open with some competitive practice.

Please note we are aware that the Par of the course for the first round is incorrect and that the players scores to par are wrong, but the totals are correct.

Tiago Cruzes Home at Morgado

A strong Portuguese presence helped to make up the leader board on the first day at Morgado with Pedro Figueiredo at the top on 4 under par, Tiago Cruz tied in second on 3 under and Andre Carvalho tied fifth on 2 under..

Making up an International leader board were England’s Marcus Armitage and South African, Tyler Hogarty on 3 under par,

Scott Fallon compiled an interesting 2 under par 71 after bombarding an Out of Bounds hotel block with two errant tee shots and starting with a quadruple bogey Eight!!

Tiago Cruz and a delighted Mrs Cruz with PGA Portugal President Jose Correia

Tiago Cruz (left), with a delighted Mrs Cruz with PGA Portugal President Jose Correia

The second day was going to be full of drama, with the Portuguese trying to win on home soil, Marcus Armitage trying to cement his place in Madeira and Scott Fallon trying for a “Miracle at Morgado” and come back from being 4 over par after the first hole on day one.

Ricky Brackenbury compiled an impressive 4 under par 69 to set an optimistic clubhouse target of 5 under par but that looked sure to be beaten with the leading groups still out on the course.

Fallon made life a little easier and started with a par at the first and then compiled an error free 6 under par 67 that included an Eagle 3 at the tenth to set a strong clubhouse target of 8 under par for the others to chase.

Tiago Cruz in the penultimate game came to the eighteenth tee on 9 under par and looked sure to take the lead but his only bogey of the day dropped him into a tie for the lead with Fallon.

Only Armitage could join the pair on 8 under and force a three man play off but he could only manage a par and had to settle for third place, however he gained more valuable Order of Merit points in his quest for the Madeira start.

Overnight leader Figueiredo could not find the form of day one and slipped down the leader board to finish on 2 under par and a tie for seventh place.

So it was to be a play off between Cruz and Fallon and the pair made their way to the first tee with Fallon hoping to complete the recovery from his horror start on the first day and Cruz with fingers crossed for a home win.

Well both players hit the green in regulation and Cruz made a comfortable par but Fallon left himself an uncomfortable 4 footer to extend proceedings but it failed to find the bottom of the cup and a delighted Tiago Cruz was the winner,

This was the last tournament of swin4 and we now move on to the Eastern Algarve to the final Swing at Castro Marim and Quinta do Vale where the curtain raiser at Castro Marim will include our first International Pro Am.

Further information about the Pro Am can be found on the Algarve Pro Golf Tour website.