By SUE SPENCER
The inaugural Ian Wright Golf Classic in aid of The Willow Foundation took place from September 22 to 25, with a warm up game on Quinta do Lago North, a Texas Scramble on Laranjal and a four ball better ball on Quinta do Lago South.
The star-studded cast included the event’s namesake Ian Wright, charity founder, Bob Wilson, Brian Lara, David Seaman, Dwight Yorke, Les Ferdinand, Teddy Sheringham, DJ Spoony, Francis Lee and Mitchell Thomas.
The event was rounded off with a gala dinner, prize-giving and auction with lots including a chance to watch an England training session and a week in a farmhouse in Provence, which was held at the Monte da Quinta hotel.
The best individual golfer was Graham Goodkind and the winning team, by one point, was Ian Wright’s.
The competition was open to teams of four, or three plus a celebrity, and prices varied depending on if packages included flights and accommodation.
The official organisers of the Ian Wright Golf Classic were Leisure Link Golf Holidays, with assistance from local handling agents, Miltours DMC Algarve.
“Next year, we hope that local people from the Algarve will take part as well,” said Ian.
When former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter Bob Wilson lost his daughter Anna at the age of 31 to cancer 12 years ago, he and his wife Megs set up the Willow Foundation for seriously ill young adults.
The aim of the charity is to provide seriously ill people in this age group a life-enhancing experience to remember: “When Anna knew how ill she was, she said she wanted to have a good time and that she always wanted to have something in her diary to look forward to. The idea for special days sprang from that.”
In the Willow Foundation’s first year, 17 special days were provided for those living with life-threatening conditions including cancer, Motor Neurone’s Disease and Huntington’s.
In 2011 the charity is funding 1,400 special days and has provided more than 8,000 experiences to date.
If you would like to play in next year’s Ian Wright Golf Classic, which is being held from in Autumn 2012, please email [email protected] to be added to the mailing list.