As the stars of The European Tour descend on the Victoria Course for the 10th staging of the Portugal Masters, Tuesday night saw five past Portugal Masters Champions join guests and dignitaries for a Cocktail Reception to pay tribute to the late, great Mr Palmer; designer of the Victoria Clube de Golfe, which has hosted The European Tour event since 2007.
Defending Champion Andy Sullivan, was joined by past champions Steve Webster (2007), Alvaro Quiros (2008), Richard Green (2010) and Tom Lewis (2011) to pay tribute to Mr Palmer, who had written a congratulatory letter to Victoria Clube de Golfe in September, shortly before he passed away.
Mr Keith Cousins, Chairman of Oceânico Golf, paid tribute to the impact Mr Palmer had not only on golf in the Algarve, but around the world:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, It is with great pleasure I stand before you on the eve of what is set to be a week to remember in Vilamoura’s rich golf history.
We are in good company this evening, joined by some past Champions of this coveted European Tour title. Please join me in showing your appreciation for; defending Champion, Andy Sullivan, Alvaro Quiros, Richard Green, Steve Webster and Tom Lewis.
This year’s event marks a significant milestone in this Championships’ history; not only is this the 10th anniversary of The Portugal Masters, but the 50th anniversary of Golf in the Algarve.
We stand here today ready to embark on a new era for golf in Vilamoura.
A united partnership has been forged between Dom Pedro Hotel Group and myself, Keith Cousins, as we embark on a new venture to enhance what is without doubt one of Europe’s most popular golf destinations.
The strategy will set about to inject new energy into Vilamoura’s five headline golf courses, amplifying the Algarve’s golf tourism economy. The partnership will unlock new investment into the golf product, enhancing the cherished course that will carry us into a new era of prosperity and excellence in the region.
Whilst we celebrate this week, it is also a poignant time for reflection. One of the true greats left us just a few weeks ago. A man who left an indelible mark on this great game, not only shaping the professional game as we know it, but inspiring generations to take up this wonderful sport.
It could not be more fitting for us that the 10th anniversary of the Portugal Masters is played around one of Arnold Palmer’s Masterpieces; The Victoria Course.
The King’s legacy will live long with us here in Vilamoura and we shall never forget how he has inspired greatness in each and every one of us, each and every one of the players this week, as well as golfers and sports fans around the world.
This evening is about coming together and celebrating the collective efforts of so many to make The Portugal Masters so successful and enjoy the company of those who have inspired us.
We thank you for taking the time to join us tonight and we would like to wish everyone a successful week.”
Oceânico Golf www.oceanicogolf.com