275 golfers from 12 nations competed in the 34th Vilamoura Grand Trophy over the course of three rounds at some of the best golf courses in Vilamoura: Dom Pedro Victoria, Dom Pedro Old Course, and Dom Pedro Pinhal. The tournament was won by the Portuguese golfer Orlando Henrique.
Portuguese players were in the spotlight right after the first round of the 34th Vilamoura Grand Trophy, with Orlando Henrique leading from day 1, ending the first day with a total of 67 net strokes. After the first round, Orlando Henrique said “I played the game of my life and it could have been with an even better result. The rain didn't affect me much”.
The first round got off to a promising start, but it was interrupted by brief bouts of heavy rain and wind that likely made the organizers think about calling off the competition even in the morning. However, the first day of competition was able to be completed due to the outstanding drainage of the courses, particularly the greens. The tournament started with rain in the first two days but ended with a sunny and windless day.
After the first day, the participants and their guests enjoyed another cocktail reception at Forum Dom Pedro, in Vilamoura, set to the lively tunes of Zélia Almeida.
On the second day, there was a hole-in-one on the 12th hole at the Vilamoura golf course of Dom Pedro Pinhal, obtained by the British Kevin Kelly, who played a 6 iron for 155 meters.
With a score of 206 net strokes, Orlando Henrique (Oitavos Dunes) won the Grand Trophy, beating off Manuel Cândido de Oliveira with 212 and Declan Towey with 214.
The gross champion was Padraig O'Dubshlaine with 227 strokes in the three rounds.
Of the 36 prizes distributed today, 13 went to Portuguese players.
In the four categories, net and gross, the Portuguese awarded were Maria do Carmo Godinho, Paulo Carvalho Martins, Manuel António Vieira, Julie Ribeiro, Arminda Von Kaenel, Joana Meireles, Emilie Rola, José Pedrosa, Rui Meireles and Serafim Carvalho.
The awards were given out at a gala dinner performed by the musical show Women Power.
Source: Valdemar Afonso
Vilamoura, like the Iberian Peninsula, had its roots in the Roman Empire, dating back to the first century BC, which included a wealthy rural residence, an agricultural and fishing center, a cemetery, and a series of port buildings. Currently, some vestiges of that time can be visited in the "Cerro da Vila" near the Vilamoura Marina.
In the Medieval Age, the area where Vilamoura is located was designated as Quinta do Morgado, a farm created by a charter donated by King Afonso III to Loulé in 1266, as a prize for helping to conquer the Algarve from the Moors.
Cupertino de Miranda at the beginning of the 60's acquired the 1600 acres of Quinta do Morgado de Quarteira, and started the Vilamoura tourist project, with the construction of the Marina and the design of the first houses, hotels and casino.
The history of golf in Vilamoura begins in 1969, with the opening of the first golf course, the Old Course, the second golf course to be opened in the Algarve, followed by the Pinhal golf course in 1976, followed by the Laguna in 1990, which had 27 holes, called South, West and North. Later, André Jordan, a great promoter of golf in the Algarve, acquired the Vilamoura golf courses and added the Millennium course to the collection in 2000, adapting the nine holes of Laguna Norte and building another 9 holes that spread across Pinhal Velho. The crown jewel of Vilamoura, Victoria golf course, is completed later in 2004.
The excellence of Vilamoura's golf courses is not only due to its privileged location, the richness and diversity of its slightly undulating soil, the abundance of stone pine trees and native shrubs, which were perfectly used by the renowned architects who designed the 5 golf courses from Vilamoura.
Frank Pennink created the Old Course in 1969, and in 1996 Hawtree & Sons did a major renovation that included a sophisticated irrigation system.
The same Frank Pennink was the author of the original layout of the Pinhal course, which has undergone several improvements over the years, the most significant being made by Robert Trent Jones in 1985.
Joseph Lee designed the Laguna course taking advantage of its open and unprotected terrain, with some natural lagoons to give it a feeling of links. The original 27 holes became 18 in 2000 with the integration and reshape of 9 holes in a new golf course in Vilamoura, Millennium, designed by the famous English architect Martin Hawtree.
In 2004, the Victoria course is inaugurated, designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer who conceived this masterpiece for the stage of major international tournaments.
In 1969, the first Vilamoura Golf Club was established as a public relations tool. However, it wasn't until 1985 that the main job of organizing the club began, with participation in official competitions of the Portuguese Golf Federation and the establishment of many schools that played a significant role in the growth of golf in Vilamoura, with their schools serving as an incredible birthing ground for great champions at all levels.
Quinta do Lago founder André Jordan bought Vilamoura in 1995 and sold it to a consortium of Spaniards in 2006, keeping only the golf courses. Known as a tourism genius, Andre Jordan influenced the management of Vilamoura, making this resort one of Europe's finest. As evidenced by multiple international prizes and certificates, Andre Jordan has always given special consideration to sustainable development in the design and operation of his golf courses.
The Oceânico group acquires Vilamoura in 2007. More recently, in 2016, the Dom Pedro group acquired the 5 golf courses in Vilamoura and continued the projection of the Vilamoura brand, making several investments in the golf courses to the delight of the golfing public.