The 2nd Fairway Algarve Championship took place from 15th-22nd Oct in Vilamoura. Our base for the week was the lovely beach front Vila Gale Ampalius, a short walk to the many restaurants and bars on the Marina.
The week starts with the players meeting on Sunday night for free welcome drinks in the bar, followed by a 3-course meal (with drinks included), this is where myself (Sean Coyle) can go through the itinerary for the week.
Day 1 took place at Vale do Lobo Ocean, some great holes especially close to the sea, course was a little wet considering had no rain for 6 weeks, weather was a little overcast but still warm. The first day saw 17-year-old Owen Reynolds playing off 4 take the spoils on 38 points with last year's runner up Derrick Mullard on 37 points.
Each night the players and partners meet in the bar at 7.30 for a drink then on to the Marina to a restaurant booked by the host.
Day 2 was played at the beautiful Quinta do Lago South, host to Portuguese Open on no fewer than 8 occasions, weather was much improved from Monday, course as always in fine condition. Our American guest Bill Mckiegan with a fine 38 points winning the day, with Owen Reynolds, John Robertson, Stuart Baird and host (Sean Coyle) all tied 2nd on 33 points. In the night time I had booked a lovely restaurant in Quarteira where everyone enjoyed a beautiful 3 course meal with drinks included, really was a great night.
As is tradition on Fairway Groups, Wednesday is rest day when players can either do a bit of sunbathing, sightseeing or play some more golf, few players went off to play Victoria which I had booked for them.
The Old Course played host to the third day of the Championship, always set up great, the greens were quite slow, this course is a bit like Marmite (like or dislike) the scores were very good on the day with Sid Barber 41 points coming out on top with Dr David Williams & Owen Reynolds tied on 39 points.
The final day of Championship was at Laranjal, this was probably set up in the finest condition of all the courses, not sure whether it was toughness of the courses or players tiring but we had a tie of three players on 33 points with last year's defending champion Gareth Chapman winning on a card play-off from Owen Reynolds and Bill McKiegan.
Rest day when players and non-players relax looking forward to the Gala Presentation Dinner. The night was a success with new friendships all looking forward to next year. The team event for the week went to Anne Seabrook, Dr David Williams & Derrick Mullard. Third place overall went to Dr David Williams on 130 points, second on 133 points was Derrick Mullard (runner up last year), Fairway Algarve Championship went to 17-year-old Owen Reynolds on 143 points, a fine display from someone so young and also his first time playing golf abroad, so very well done, look forward to seeing you in 2018.
Next year's Algarve Championship will take place from 23rd‐30th Sep and will Include entry to final day of Portugal Masters at Dom Pedro Victoria, the Championship will then Include Victoria in the week so what a thrill to play there only days after the Masters plus three other top venues including Algarve's finest Monte Rei, and if that wasn't enough we will be running a Ryder Cup Style event on Friday 28th Sep when the real event starts in Paris, so what a week, don't miss out places are limited. There will be a few options on accommodation.