Organisers hope to fund a future golf culture at Algarve schools
A special memorial golf tournament is to be held at the Quinta do Lago South course on the 16th of August, in honour of golfing prodigy Tiago Sousa, a member of the Quinta do Lago golf academy before his tragic death in an almost surreal car accident in Texas last year.
The impetus behind the event is to keep 18-year-old Tiago’s memory alive, in the region that was his home.
Stepfather and joint organiser Kenneth Starreveld tells us that money raised will be going on a project, supported also by the Portuguese Golf Federation/ Quinta do Lago and the Paul McGinley Golf Academy, to send professional golf players into local schools, to “embrace the idea of golf with children”.
“There is this misconception that golf is an elitist sport”, Starreveld explains. “But it isn’t: for kids a year’s subscription to a golfing academy is generally cheaper than the money charged for football coaching…”
And in his mindset, golf “helps with education”, “gets kids to focus on themselves” and creates an “honest” approach to sport.
Because Tiago’s story was so intertwined with family, the concept of a family tournament seemed a perfect fit for this memorial tribute. The idea is that parents will play with their children; having “a joyful day” which will end with a BBQ, raffle and, of course, prize giving.
Without getting too sentimental, Tiago’s step-father explains that in all the years that Tiago was learning and playing, he never once got the chance to play with him on an official tournament. There were no practice sessions for parents and their children.
Thus, this tournament is a way too of perhaps changing mentalities a little and making this a special day for more tournaments to come
Thanks to his work with the Hilton Hotels group, Starreveld already has sponsorship from Hilton Hotels Worldwide, and from the DP World Tour and the PGA of America.
Co-organiser for this event is also none other than former Ryder Cup champion Paul McGinley – a man with whom Tiago had many conversations before deciding to study in the United States.
It was Paul McGinley who encouraged Tiago to pursue College golf. As Tiago’s step-father says: “I do not know where we would be without this amazing man and his support”.
Thus what’s left now is to gather players for the upcoming tournament.
Hopes are for around 200 players on the day (a number have already confirmed from Europe, the United States and Canada).
The format will be two shotgun starts at 8am – with the course available for the day.
Additional sponsorship is welcomed – particularly sponsors who can offer items for auction, or as prizes.
Right now, the current sponsors have come up with donations for auction including
2 x BMW Hospitality tickets for any specified day including parking from the European Tour Group.
2 x general admission tickets for the 2023 Ryder Cup
Several vouchers for Hilton Hotels in Europe – and quite a bit of golfing equipment.
Registration for the event is €200 (parent and child), and further details can be found here
For more information visit their website https://www.tiagosousagolf.com/