European Disabled Golf Association
EVENT REPORT - PENINA OPEN 2016
EVENT REPORT - PENINA OPEN 2016
Winner of the Penina Open Adem Wahbi displays his trophy. Pictured from right: Penina general manager Luis Brito, Adem Wahbi, golf director Leonel Rio, tournament director Rob Moss, referee Julio Du Cal and EDGA president Tony Bennett.
Article by Ben Evans of Cutting Edge Golf
Adam Wahbi goes deep for wonderful win on iconic Penina course
Leading Belgian player Adem Wahbi secured the EDGA Penina Open 2016 in dramatic style on the challenging Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course after rounds of 80 and 79 (April 16-17).
The scoreboard tells of a 3-shot win over EDGA No:1 Ranked Manuel De Los Santos but those at the event saw Adem prevail in an unusual closing round. He took a tumble into water at the 5th hole to soak his trousers but after this shock to the system, Wahbi would calm himself and overtake both De Los Santos and Mathieu Cauneau with two birdies and three pars in a brilliant last 5 holes to grab victory.
The par-73, 5,827-meter course designed by the three-time Open Champion, with its array of streams, water features and difficult greens, was always going to be one of the key players in this first EDGA Tournament Series event of the year. And so it proved, with only a handful of golfers finding the consistent scoring to capitalize on some excellent shot-making over the two rounds. On the first day, the weather was a little more challenging with a strong wind and Wahbi and France’s Mathieu Cauneau each posted +7, 80s to lead the pack. France’s Manuel De Los Santos was not quite satisfied with his opening 84 and it was perhaps no surprise that he rallied in Round 2 with the best round of the tournament, a 78.
However, Adem Wahbi, who won this event last year, proved throughout 2015 that he is made of stern stuff, and his second round 79 will live long in both his and the spectators’ memory. He later laughed about his 5th hole incident. “I fell in the water which was not funny! It was muddy and smelt really bad and until the 18th hole I was wet.” Earlier, Adem praised his fellow competitors and offered hard work as the reason for his good form. “I practised really hard [over the winter] so this season has started really good. I am now also really happy to play with PING and want to thank them for their help.”
It was never a two-horse race. Congratulations to Cauneau (80, 83 for 3rd place) and England’s Mick Horsley (84, 80 for 4th), who pushed the leaders hard. A handful of shots away from victory, but solid and consistent play throughout the two rounds. Mathieu Cauneau clearly relished the test at Penina. He said: “I got to enjoy a very beautiful course, which was interesting and tough as well.”
Also deserving of credit are Richard Saunders and Etienne Colbert who finished tied-4th and tied-8th respectively in the Nett Category, while in the Stableford group, France’s Nicolas Grossia won with 55 points, followed by Tapio Eirtovaara, Pedro Sottomayor and Friedrich Brauninger.
EDGA President Tony Bennett said: “Well done to all the players who competed really well against each other, and also against a difficult first test on the Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course, which never lets you get away with a moment’s lapse in concentration. “Congratulations to Adem who was superb and goes from strength to strength. A big thank you to the team at Penina this week, who were great, and also to our Corporate Partner, The Algarve Tourist Association. Our Tournament Series begins and ends in this region this year and the Association has already been a huge help as we strive to develop EDGA going forwards.”