PETER GUSTAFFSON FROM SWEDEN OVERCAME SOME OVERNIGHT DOUBTS TO WIN THE 2016 INVITATIONAL IN PORTUGAL
Taking a five shot lead into the final round of a golf tournament offers no guarantees of victory as the Swede Peter Gustaffson discovered before he picked up the € 8,200 winner’s cheque at the 2016 Invitational Pro Am tournament in Portugal.
The 40-year-old had set himself apart from the 50-strong field of professionals when he shot an eight under par 64 in the second round over the South Course at Quinta do Lago on The Algarve.
However, handling the advantage played on his mind as he could only close with a three over par 75 on the adjoining North Course.
It was still good enough to earn him a two shot victory margin over Spain’s Carlos Rodiles who had made huge strides up the leaderboard earlier in the day by shooting a 66.
But Peter admitted : ” Having a five shot leader overnight should have been good. But I just couldn’t decide whether to attack the course in the third round or try to defend my lead. Because taking risks could have cost me shots and while playing defensively would have put a lot of negative thoughts in my mind.”
He also pointed out two holes in the first half of his round which saw him head back towards the rest of the field.
“At the seventh I had a putt for a birdie to go under par for the day that was barely a metre long and I missed it” he said. “Then on the eight green I three putted so instead of being one under, I was one over and that was a two shot swing.
“But I held on to win and that was a great way to end a fantastic week here in Portugal, playing great courses alongside a lot of amateurs who were really good fun. I will definitely be back again nex year if I am invited.
The Pro Am was a much more closely contested event with the 28 under par betterball winning score produced by Scottish Pro Sam Binning and his Irish partner Daphne Fagan only a stroke better than the cards handed in by Englishmen Alan Lovelace and Paul Fagan.
And Daphne, a 22-handicapper certainly played her part in the win as she said : ” I had a fantastic three days out there and probably couldn’t have played any better,
“Sam was very encouraging and in the three rounds I made five net eagles along with 16 birdies. It was so thrilling to win and I was just absolutely delighted.”
Also happy with the week of the tournament which is sanctioned by the PGAs of Europe was Warren Pike the managing director of the tournament sponsors Eligo.
He said :” The three courses were all in superb condition and it was a great week which we all enjoyed and hopefully we will be back again next year.”