Daniel Condratov and Neagu Bogdan, who run real estate company SDK Management Ltd, have been appointed as the first-ever licence holders for the former eastern bloc country and Romania will make its world final debut at The Carrick on Loch Lomond in October.
Golf was banned in Romania until 1990 and even now there are just four courses and less than 1,000 amateurs in the country; but interest in the game is growing all the time.
Condratov, president of SDK Management Ltd, said: “We all hope and wait for an explosion next years once a few courses will get ready. There is more and more interest in golf but, due to the economic situation, things are quiet for the moment. It could be the silence before the storm.
“We anticipate that, in a few years, International Pairs will become a popular competition in Romania. Our friends encouraged us and considered it to be an interesting competition for the future.
“Even if we do not have so many players as in other countries , there are a few very good golfers. Ambition for qualification will be very high.”
Condratov and Bogdan, who only became interested in golf five years ago, initially hope to attract up to 400 people to play in the qualifying tournaments at the existing clubs, with the Romanian national final taking place at Paul Tomita Golf Club in August.
Bogdan added: “The idea that you can represent your country as an amateur at a world final is brilliant, and it offers everyone a wonderful experience.
“We were invited to take part at last year’s world final at Carnoustie and it was fantastic. I hope that, through marketing, we will be able to promote the event in all circles of amateur golfers in Romania and that we will whet their appetite for such a special event.”
Ross Honey, managing director and founder of International Pairs, said: “Having a country like Romania join International Pairs is what the competition is all about. It‘s incredible to think that, just 20 years ago, nobody was playing golf there and the appointment of an inaugural licence holder demonstrates the vision we have for the future of the International Pairs on a national, European and global scale.”
Romania have followed in the footsteps of Vietnam this month in joining the world’s largest competition for club golfers, who has attracted more than 500,000 golfers since its inception, including West Indian cricket legend Sir Viv Richards and former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke.
Over 40 countries have participated in the competition to date since 1998 and that number is forecast to increase rapidly with more countries than ever signing up to the global event.
Extensive footage from the International Pairs’ World Final Series was screened into around 350 million households in Asia in the two months before Christmas while leading hotel group De Vere, prestigious golf clothing brand Glenmuir and top golf manufacturers Excel have all agreed to sponsor the event in 2010.
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