England (South) Region
05 Feb 18
Andy Raitt shot an 11-under-par total to win the Sunshine Pro-Am in the Algarve by a stroke to claim the £1,100 first prize.
Delighted with his performance, Raitt, who represents St. George’s Hill, was full of praise for the event’s organisation by fellow PGA Professionals Chris Evans and Matthew Paget.
“Everything was really well set up from start to finish with the week’s golf at the four top courses in Vilamoura, enhanced by some terrific entertainment,” he said.
“The midweek dinner and Karaoke provided memories that may haunt me forever. I think it’s fair to say my golf was much more in tune than my singing!”
The Pro-Am, now in its 11th year, saw the 24 teams play five rounds at Quinta Do Lago’s North, South and Laranjal courses, plus that of San Lorenzo, with competitors dropping their worst of the first four rounds.
But at the end of the week it was Raitt, a member of the victorious 2017 Great Britain and Ireland PGA Cup team, who outshone the field with a flawless final round of 68.
That performance edged last year’s winner, Louis Savill (Tandridge), into second spot on 10-under-par and a cheque for £850. Craig Sutherland (Cherry Lodge), a stroke behind in third place, earned £800.
In the opening round Raitt stumbled at the 13th and 14th dropping three shots but his four birdies overall kept him in contention at the head of the leaderboard, vying with James Scade (Little Channels) on 71.
The second round saw Raitt produce an uncharacteristic up and down display with a front nine comprising two pars, four birdies and an eagle, mixed with a bogey and a triple bogey. He eventually posted a one-under-par return of 71 while Sutherland and Savill made superb six-under-par 66s to keep the race for pole position going.
Raitt enjoyed a birdie bonanza in round three when he delivered six on the trot but an unfortunate double bogey on the last left him with a five-under-par 67. He was closely followed on the day by Oscar Granstrom Livesey (Royal Mid Surrey) with a 68.
Raitt took a breather from the leaderboard on the fourth day, saving his energies for the final push on the South course at Quinta Do Lago, a strategy which proved its worth when he shot that unblemished four-under-par 68 for outright victory.
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