A record number of entrants will be teeing it up in the final event of the European Disabled Golf Association calendar, the III EDGA Algarve Open 2016, which starts on Friday (2 December) at Pestana Vila Sol Golf Resort, Portugal.
Some 66 players from around the world have registered to play in the 12th event of EDGA’s Tournament Series 2016, and trophies in the gross, nett and stableford divisions are up for grabs. The competition is generously supported by the Algarve Tourism Association and the trophies provided by the Portuguese Golf Federation.
The growth in popularity from the 38 players who took part last year, is mirrored in the strength of the annual Tournament Series in 2016, which has also expanded significantly from just four events back in 2013. The final putt of the two-round tournament at Vila Sol will also complete the year’s Ranking for Golfers with Disability (R4GD) supported by PING.
The Tournament Series is just one of a variety of subjects that will be discussed during the most comprehensive EDGA Annual Assembly of recent years, which also takes place this week at Vila Sol, starting Thursday.
Members from 18 of Europe’s national Golf Federations which work with EDGA have been invited to attend, alongside representatives from the International Golf Federation (IGF), the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, the European Golf Association, and supporters of the organisation, PING.
Topics will include the further growth of EDGA as it extends its support of golfers with disability and its collaboration with the game’s world leaders, including The R&A and the IGF. Progress in linking golfers with disability with the Paralympic movement is sure to be a key discussion point, as EDGA members strive to have golf become a Paralympic sport after golf’s success in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Delegates will learn more about the planned growth of the EDGA Tournament Series over the next two years, and the work of EDGA’s medical committee in helping to create better definitions of impairment to help golfers with physical and mental disabilities to enjoy greater opportunities to play and compete.
While the delegates are thrashing out these ideas inside, the 66 players will be hoping to take the route to victory over the undulating and challenging Vila Sol course, known for its hidden dangers and notoriously quick greens.
Along with tournament sponsor the Algarve Tourism Association, internationally respected golf apparel brand Glenmuir is the Apparel Sponsor for an event which last year was won by the popular Manuel de Los Santos of the Dominican Republic, after a sudden-death play-off with France’s Mathieu Cauneau. Belgium’s Cedric Lescut, at the top of this year’s R4GD supported by PING, will know that another win by Manuel could steal the Ranking in this last event of 2016.