Peter Hov “champion” of World Kids Golf as Portuguese players claim five titles
While the Portuguese players may have had a blast at the 11th World Kids Golf, winning five of the 11 trophies that were in play at the Amendoeira Golf Resort in Silves, it was Norwegian Peter Hov who was crowned the champion of the oldest junior international golf tournament in Portugal.
Francisco Reis (Under-9), João Crasi Alves (Under-12), Inês Belchior (Under-12), Tomas Mician (Under-16) and Filipa Capelo (Under-18) were the Portuguese winners in the tournament organized by the Amendoeira Golf Resort, featuring 80 players from 14 countries.
Francisco Reis (Under-9) scored 61 stableford gross points and his first round of 5 under Par on the O’Connor Course was the best result among players from the purple tees.
The young player of Orizonte Lisbon Golf is the current No. 1 in the Drive Challenge Under-10 ranking in the Tagus Region. Francisco Reis won the four tournaments he played in 2019 in this junior tour of the Portuguese Golf Federation. But this time he faced only foreign rivals, beating Englishman Luke Walton by 13 points.
João Crasi Alves scored 1 under the O’Connor Course Par, on both the first and third rounds (37 stableford gross points), and he was the only one of the 22 Under-12 players to surpass the 100 point mark (107 total).
The Vilamoura Golf Club player is also No. 1 in the Southern Drive Challenge Under-12 ranking, with three titles won. But even better, on the Drive Tour, the main FPG junior tour, he is No. 2 in the national ranking, with a tournament won at Penina. In the World Kids Golf, João Crasi Alves beat the Portuguese António Trindade by eight points.
Inês Belchior – who, besides being a golfer, is also a softball athlete – earned her second World Kids Golf title. The Quinta do Peru Golf & Country Club player had already the best at the U-10 in 2017. Last year she was runner-up in the Under-12 and now she has won the Under-12. On the second day she scored her best result, 9 over Par on the O’Connor Course, converting her only two birdies of the tournament.
Tomas Mician scored the best result of the whole tournament, with 11 strokes (gross) under the Faldo Course Par. His -8 second round was the tournament highlight. The Vilamoura Golf Club’s Portuguese-Slovak played from the yellow marks and beat the Scottish Jamie Mann (-9) by 2.
Nelson Cavalheiro, the PGA Portugal vice-president, said at the awards ceremony, regarding this boy’s Under-16 tournament: “These guys can really play.” And indeed, either of them played three consecutive rounds under Par.
Tomas Mician is the No. 1 FPG Drive Tour ranking in the Under-16, with titles at Penina, Ribagolfe and Belas.
“I really wanted to win this World Kids Golf and it was a goal I wanted to achieve,” said Tomas, said the Portuguese-Slovak.
Meantime, Filipa Capelo said fairwell to one of her favorite tournaments.
The 2018 World Kids Golf Champion at the Under-16 has now triumphed as well at the Under-18 level. It was Filipa’s third title of the year, after those achieved at Penina and Belas on the Drive Tour. It was, however, a special win, because only three weeks ago she returned from a four-month injury to both Achilles tendons.
The player of Quinta do Lago may not comeback to defend her title at the Amendoeira Golf Resort next year.
“I have been coming to this tournament since I was a Under-12 and had a 36 handicap. Now I have 4 and I will improve, but it is possible that I have been here for the last time. Next year I am going to play and study in the United States and so it is likely that the next summer I will have to take another tournament options, but of course I will miss it. “
This year’s foreign champions were English Ffion Richardson (Under-9), Eleanor Lichtenhein (Under-10) and Aaron Moody (Under-10), Spanish Alexander Amey (Under-14), German Emilie von Finckentsein and Norwegian Peter Hov.
The World Kids Golf champion is always the Under-18 winner, so the cup was handed to Peter Hov by Custódio Moreno, from the Algarve Department of the Portuguese Institute for Sport and Youth (IPDJ).
By winning the tournament – in a close challenge with Portuguese Lucas Lopes Azinheiro, who was only 2 strokes behind – the Norwegian will appear for the first time in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He will be able, as well, to play the Portugal Pro Golf Tour tournament which will take place on the Faldo Course in 2020.
This €10,000 prize-money event will feature players from the Challenge Tour and other professional tours and it will be a unique occasion for Peter Hov to test himself against a much higher competition.
“It was far above what I dreamed. I really wanted this first point in the world ranking and I am really going to try to comeback to play with the pros,” said the Norwegian, who intends to “play some more European Golf Association tournaments in the future”.