Article by Ben Evans of Cutting Edge Golf
Adem Wahbi of Belgium played his best golf under pressure to birdie a dramatic final hole and win the European Disabled Golf Association’s (EDGA) 1st Portugal Open on Monday (20th April).
Wahbi carded a second successive +8 score (81) on the challenging par 73, 5,827 meter Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course to edge out playing partner Manuel de los Santos of France (score of +9, 82) by a single shot.
Earlier the Belgian had been in the water twice on the 5th to score a quadruple bogey in a mixed front nine, but came into his element down the final stretch of 7 holes which he played in an excellent 1 under par, including a championship winning birdie on the par 5, 18th, when he calmly rolled in a 5-foot, downhill, left-to-right putt having attacked to the back of the green in 2 shots.
His 2 putts from there were brave as de los Santos, one shot behind, had carried off a great second shot into the green to set up his own birdie, inviting Wahbi to do the same to secure the title.
Played in warm sunshine but battling firm and fast greens at Penina, birdies were at a premium all day, and the two men were pushed down the home straight by Miroslav Lidinsky, of the Czech Republic, who carded the best score of the tournament with +7 (80), including back-to-back birdies on holes 12 and 13, but he would finish five shots behind the leader.
Winner Adem Wahbi said after his round: “It was really nice to play well for the last 13 holes and the 18th was difficult because Manuel attacked this in two. But I felt really good over that last putt.”
Manuel de los Santos said: “I did my best today. We are good friends so I was happy to see Adem win his first title.”
The Frenchman said he would now be training hard for the next tournament in the EDGA Tournament Series 2015, the Handigolf French Open (May 1-3). There are 11 tournaments this summer.
Other results from Penina included Miroslav Lidinsky winning the Category 1 & 2 Nett section, Nino Ourabah of France winning Category 3 Gross, and Piere Dumas of France winning Category 3 Nett.
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