Traff Reaches Top of the Christmas Tree at Greencard Golf Holidays Spain Tour Event
After spending the past three New Years in Portugal, there was a general feeling that a change of venue was required. As as result, we would be celebrating the start of 2017 with the Greencard Golf Holidays Spain Tour Event at the Almenara Golf Resort. The golf programme included three rounds on the Almenara courses, one on San Roque and one on La Reserva.
Whilst the weather forecast predicted no rain for the week, the wind for the first few days certainly affected the temperatures and despite being much warmer than the UK a sweater or two was required. However, the second half of the week was much better with the sun appearing and the temperatures increasing towards the 20 degree mark.
2 Point AM-AM Victory for Team Crosthwaite
Almenara Golf Resort comprises of three loops of nine holes being Los Alcornoques, Los Lagos and Los Pinos. The AM AM was played on Los Alcornoques and Los Lagos. The front nine is particularly tight and accuracy from the tee was essential. It was tough going and in the end a score of 77 points was enough to take the victory for the team captained by Pauline Crosthwaite and including Neil Marr, Anthony Trafford and Yvonne Moir. Jez Morgan, Debbie Morgan, Robbie Young and Marlise Wuestendoerfer just missed out with a score of 75.
Greencard Close Out 2016 in Style at Fantastic La Reserva Golf
The following day was New Year’s Eve and what better way to spend the last day of 2016 than playing the first round on the individual event at the fantastic La Reserva. This magnificent facility features an expansive 18-hole course designed by Cabell Robinson, as well as a spectacular clubhouse and views to match. The wind was still around which made playing conditions tough at times.
Round 1: Dorothy Blackburn Leads Greencard into 2017
The leading score of the day came from Dorothy Blackburn with a tremendous 32 points. Anthony Trafford finished one point behind with Peter Quinn a further shot back. Linda Worth, Claire Howell’s and Phil Crossland all came in with 29 points.
After the golf we all returned to the hotel to prepare for New Year’s Eve. Following the hotel cocktail, we moved to our private room for the gala dinner. It was great to have the whole group together before returning to join all the other hotel guests in the main bar to see in the New Year. The music and atmosphere was excellent and provided a memorable night for all.
New Years day was a free day, allowing people to recover from the previous night’s celebrations. By this point the weather was back on track and the sun was shining.
Round 2: Masters Champ Continues Good Form Through New Year
The following day, it was back to business at San Roque Old for the second round of the tournament. The course lies at the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja and is a legendary home for European golf.
This time it was the turn of the current Masters’s champion John Meagher to lead the field with an excellent score of 33. Keith Trenter, a winner at a previous New Year event was also starting to find his form with 32, a score matched by Neil Marr. Sam Judson was the leading lady of the day with 31. Meanwhile, our overnight leader Dorothy Blackburn carded a score of 28 which was enough to remain at the top of the leaderboard at the half way stage with a total of 60. Sam Judson and Anthony Trafford were lying in second and third place, just one shot back on 59. John Meagher and Keith Trenter were still very much in the hunt, both on 57 points.
Round 3: Consistency the Key as Traff Makes Move to Head Field by One
The next day we played the third round on the combination of Los Lagos and Los Pinos at Almenara. Phil Raybone had the best score of the day with 34 points. Tony Daly shot a solid 33 and Ian James Bailey.
carded a 32. The overnight leaders had a tougher day out on the course but Anthony Trafford managed to finish well and scramble a score of 30 points to maintain his momentum.
So with one round to go Anthony Trafford had moved to the top of the leaderboard with a total of 89 and had a slender one point lead from Dorothy Blackburn. Keith Trenter was one further back and Neil Marr who made the last member of the final fourball had a total of 85.
Final Round: Chasing Pack Close in on Leaders
The next morning the players set off under a cloudless sky for the final round at Almenara. The combination of courses was the same as the previous day but in reverse order.
It was going to take an excellent score from the chasing pack to worry the leaders and that is exactly what happened. Julie Harris had a great day shooting 34 points and moving her overall total for the four rounds to 117. As only a handful of players including Simon Draper, Peter Ward, Phil Raybone and Sam Judson reached above 30, it was clear that Julie’s total was the one that had to be beaten by the final few players on the course.
Debut Greencard Tour Winner After 12 Years
As we watched the final fourball putting out on the 18th green, we were not sure who had taken the victory. However, we did not have long to wait as once the cards were signed and handed in it was clear that Anthony Trafford’s superb back nine ensured his score of 33 and 122 in total was sufficient for him to claim his first Greencard Tour win in 12 years of trying.
Julie’s total was enough to confirm second place and Keith Trenter’s 29 in the final round and 116 overall ensured he finished in third position. Sam Judson’s strong finish to the week moved her into fourth place after countback above Neil Marr in fifth.
Look East for 2018 Opener
Huge congratulations to Anthony Trafford on his fine win and qualification to the Grand Finals, which will be held in La Manga at the end of the season. I would like to thank everybody who took part in the event. The New Year event has been great fun over the past years. Next year we are looking at taking the event a little further to a warmer climate. We will be announcing the venue for the 2017/18 New Year event as soon as possible.
Just a reminder that this will be our second year of running the Order of Merit system alongside the original Tour Points system, which remains unchanged. The Order of Merit ensures that everyone is in the race to qualify for the Grand Finals every time they play. Finish first in any round and you receive 20 Order of Merit points, second collects 19 points etc down to twentieth place with 1 point. At the end of the season the top 3 placed on the Order of Merit, excluding those who have qualified on the Tour Points system, also qualify for the Grand Finals.
Greencard Golf Holidays Spain New Year Tour Event: Final Leaderboard
|Name||Total Pts||H’cap||Rnd 1||Rnd 2||Rnd 3||Rnd 4|
|11||Caryn James Bailey||104||21||24||30||22||28|
|24||Ian James Bailey||97||14||19||26||32||20|