Postigo and Jones share the honours in fine Spanish Open wins
Two excellent winners in Juan Postigo (Gross) and Mike Jones (Stableford) savoured deserving victories in the Spanish Open for Disabled Players 2017, held at the Parador de Málaga Golf Resort at the weekend (11-12 September).
The first European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) event of the season, organised by the Spanish Golf Federation, provided a challenging final round as more than 50 players were welcomed by strong winds as they teed-off on the testing coastal course with its slick greens. Fortunately the rain which had been forecasted stayed away until the final moments as the last match reached the 18th green.
In the Stableford division the overnight leader Enrique Ramirez Belmonte started with his closest competitor Mike Jones from the 10th tee, which was particularly exposed to the brisk wind coming off the sea.
Mike proved too strong on the day with a solid round of 34 points (63 total to Enrique’s 55) but gave great credit to his playing partner’s sportsmanship and camaraderie; with special praise also for his expert caddie and wife, Beth.
Mike said later: “It was an absolute pleasure to play in this event. I was fortunate to play with a great character in Enrique. He sang to me, we encouraged each other and laughed, it was great. I knew I had to start well and luckily I did. I played solid.”
Mike added: “Beth has been phenomenal, the support she gives is brilliant, making sure I have everything I need on the course. I couldn’t have done this without her.”
Other good performers in the Stableford division included Timo Pessi and José Manuel Heras Hernanz, each scoring 53 points, and Patrick Siegwald (51).
In the Gross division Juan Postigo had taken a one-shot lead into Day 2 (after a first round +3, 75), just ahead of Manuel de los Santos and Hassan Chakboub. Starting with a birdie he set the mark for the day, and was never really challenged as he sprinted to a healthy lead.
With six birdies in the round he had the comfort of a few dropped shots on the extremely difficult holes near to the sea and into the wind. The round of 72 was the best score of the week and was worthy of the winner who would prevail by 10 shots over de los Santos. Antonio Llerena Caro, Chakboub, Adem Wahbi and Mathieu Cauneau were all in the chasing pack.
Juan Postigo said later: “There was a lot of wind today. Some holes down near the beach were very tough so 72 feels great. [On the back nine] I made two birdies in a row which was great because I had made two bogeys just before, so maybe that was the key to the result today.”
The scoring of the players will all count towards the Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING which runs throughout the year. Postigo also enjoyed winning the Nett prize, but with a smaller two-stroke margin over four of his competitors who shared the same 147 Nett score.
The next EDGA tournament is the European Challenge for Wheelchair Golfers (24-27 April) in Sitges, Spain.
* See more of the results and more events through the year at www.edgagolf.com
Article by Ben Evans | EDGA Media