Portugal unveils its calendar for 2015
The clubhouse at Pestana Vila Sol Golf & Resort in Vilamoura was the setting for the launch of PGA Portugal’s official 2015 calendar. This includes the National Championship at the Oporto Golf Club, the growth of the Algarve Pro Golf Tour, the arrival of the Lisbon PGA Challenge and the launch of a new competition, the PGA Iberian Cup. For José Correia, president of PGA Portugal, “it’s a vast calendar, based on creating more opportunities for our players”. The event was attended by many members of the media, representatives of the Portuguese Golf Federation, sponsors and some professional players. Hugo Ribeiro from the PGA Press Office and José Correia presented and explained the calendar, tournament by tournament. The return of the PGA Portugal Tour at the Oporto Golf Club in Espinho, from September 17 to 19, “will be one of the highlights of 2015”, emphasised José Correia, adding that this tournament has been long awaited due to the fact that the “old” Oporto course, whose club was founded in 1890, is celebrating its 125th anniversary. The last tournament on the Portuguese professional circuit to be played on this course was in 1969, when the former national golf coach, Sebastião Gil, was still a child and Tony Barnabé was president of the association and when the likes of Henrique Paulino and Jorge Rodrigues were playing on the circuit. Following the presentation of the official tournament calendar, the national champion and winner of the 2014 Order of Merit, pro golfer Tiago Cruz, received a cheque for 1080, presented by producer Paulo Fran cis co of the production company 1080 Produções. It is also worth mentioning that 1080 Produções has sponsored PGA Portugal’s Orders of Merit for a number of years. José Correia also took the opportunity to present the 2014 Professional Re velation award to Ricardo Melo Gouveia, who was delighted to receive the prize and wished all the professionals great success for 2015. Currently the highestranked Portuguese player in the world, Ricardo Melo Gouveia also declared his interest in taking part in the Portugal Masters and the National Championship.
“They are two tournaments outside of the Challenge Tour that I would like to play. I will check my calendar to see if there is a Challenge Tour event on the same date as the National Championship. If there is, it will be very difficult to play, unless the season goes extremely well for me and I can afford that luxury,” explained the winner of one Challenge Tour tournament in 2014 and one of the stages of the European Tour Qualifying School. A special mention was also made during the PGA Portugal calendar presentation regarding the successes of three-time European champion Hugo Santos, Tiago Cruz, Pedro Figueiredo, Gonçalo Pinto and António Rosado, winner of the Order of Merit on the South-African Sunshine Tour. Recently promoted to pro golfer, João Carlota was also mentioned as one of the best players. Ricardo Lopes, a member of PGA Portugal and a great help to the Professional Golf Association in the preparation of its tournaments, was also recognised with an award that was presented by Nelson Cavalheiro and José Correia, both from the same association and two active promoters of professional golf in Portugal. José Correia conveyed thanks for all the support that PGA Portugal has received from its sponsors, highlighting CN Sports, 1080 Produções, Azores Golf Islands, PT Empresas, NikeGolf, Liberty Seguros, PP Presspeople, Sport TV and the Record newspaper, as well as other media outlets and various organisations. There was also a big announcement at the presentation about the launch of a new daily television programme called Golfe Num Minuto by PGA, a minute-long segment from 1080 Produções presented by socialite Alexandra Figueiredo. Finally, the president of the Portuguese Golf Federation, Manuel Agrellos praised the 2015 calendar of PGA Portugal as an asset to national golf: “I was impressed with this calendar. There is no doubt that this PGA Portugal board has demonstrated a new dynamic in recent years and PGA Portugal knows that it can continue to rely on us.”