/Golf: Algarve hosted first round of 2020 Race to Dubai

Golf: Algarve hosted first round of 2020 Race to Dubai

The Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, in Vilamoura, hosted the Portugal Masters in golf in September’s second weekend. The round was first pro-am on the European Tour after the pandemic’s first wave, meaning the restart of the 2020 Race to Dubai.

The Portuguese Tourism Secretary of State, Rita Marques, visited the event. She stated that the ability of staging events with more than 100 people was a testament to the organisation skills of everyone involved. Marques also thanked the European Tour for trusting in Portugal “in such complicated times”. Even more, because the second pro-am on the European Tour would also be staged in Portugal, at Royal Óbidos, in the following weekend.

The Algarve Tourism Board, through a spokesperson, had already issued a statement congratulating for the possibility of going forward with the event. The Tourism Board remains “confident that the Algarve remains a very safe destination for visiting golf tourists”, according to Incentive Travel.

Tournament bubble

The Algarve Biomedical Centre and Cignpost, the healthcare specialists, working closely with the European Tour, implemented the “tournament bubble” concept to minimise the possibility of virus transmission. All people involved were tested on the Tuesday before the event, getting the results on Wednesday, which were all negative. That meant everyone was cleared to proceed. The event was staged at closed doors.

South African Coetzee wins

The South African George Coetzee won the event for the first time and was delighted. Coetzee told the media that he wanted to win the Portugal Masters “since 2010”, having already finished in the top ten thrice since then. He added that he loves Portugal: the ocean, the waves, the outstanding golf courses, and the people, for the way they treat and care for their visitors. Coetzee finished ahead of two Englishmen, Laurie Canter and the famed Tommy Fleetwood, 16th of the world ranking.