Hogarty wins Espiche Classic

The second stop on Swing 1 is Espiche Golf Club set in the hills near Praia da Luz and although a strong golf course it is very fair as long as you are accurate.

The weather was kind to the first few groups but then the predicted rain showers descended on the course and conditions became very unpleasant indeed as the afternoon wore on and this probably accounted for only 2 players breaking par and 2 players equalling it.

Ben Smith from Lindrick Golf Club headed proceedings with a fine 3 under par 69 and that just edged ahead of Harry Casey who on 2 under par was 2 shots in front of last week’s winner David Dixon and Germanys Max Eichmeier.

With high winds forecast for the second day it could well be a score over par that wins the day.

Tyler Hogarty and Peter Thornton

Tyler Hogarty pictured with Espiche's owner, Peter Thornton

The second day did not turn out to be as windy as predicted although our starters tent fell victim to a freak gust and ended up a tangled mess of aluminium.

Out on the course it was a struggle against the elements and the course defences and as one by one the players came in it became obvious that it could be any ones to win.

Will Johnson was the first to better par by one shot with a fine 71 but after a disappointing 8 over par 80 on the first day he was unlikely to win.

One player who was making up ground was Tyler Hogarty who handed in a 5 under par 67 to set a clubhouse lead of 3 under which in all likelihood would be good enough as the leaders were starting to struggle.

Harry Casey carded a one over par 73 to finish 1 under for the tournament and second place in consecutive weeks. This time he had to share second with David Dixon who carded a 1 under par 71.

Tyler Hogarty’s 67 was a new course record for Espiche and his fine display of golf proved that although the course presents the golfer with a set of challenges to overcome it is very fair and score-able.

We have to congratulate Peter Thornton the owner and founder of Espiche on his Eco friendly yet very stylish clubhouse and the thoughtful way he has sympathetically preserved the natural aspects of the golf course by using special grasses for the greens need no chemical treatments and minimal fertilisation.

The staff at Espiche could not be more helpful and the food they served was of the highest quality at very reasonable prices and we would heartily recommend it to all golfers who visit The Algarve.

We would like to wish the best of luck to one of our regular players, David Dixon, who is about to start his quest for a European Tour card at the final qualifying school this week.

Dixon goes into final qualifying in good form and is determined to succeed. He will be ably assisted by his endeavours by his bagman, Danny Crook.