The winner Daniel Westermark on the right with 3rd place Andrés Rosa Rueda on the left
Sara Garcia the 12 years old shot a first round 5 over par 77
Miguel Angel Anon was the highest placed junior and finished 6th overall
D Westermark -2
A Sagar -1
A R Rueda Par
B Smith +3
J Hall +3
As the sun popped over the horizon of Atalaya Golf & Country Club on the 12th July 2011, it didn’t just herald another beautiful day in southern Spain it trumpeted in a new era for golf in Spain. This was the dawn of the Gecko Euro Pro Tour and as Bradley Smith strode onto the first tee and launched his drive down the first fairway of its first ever tournament, it wasn’t just the sound of ball on club, but a calling to all young professional and amateur golfers throughout Spain and Europe, announcing the first event in the 2011 schedule.
The course was in beautiful condition and set up fairly with pin positions in accessible areas, this became evident when the young Spaniard Andres Belmonte made 3 birdies on the outward 9 giving him a two shot lead over the young Englishmen Adam Saga. Unfortunately Andres could not continue his impressive start, as he had to retire after the first day after coming down with a virus.
One of the biggest stories of the day was 12year old Sara Garcia who made the turn with an impressive one over par and signed for a 77 finishing the first day at +5.
At the end of play the leader board couldn’t have been tighter with Adam Saga and Ruben Holgado Guerro tied in the lead at -1 and another three players one shot back Daniel Westmark, Miguel Angel Anon (AM) and Andres Rosa Rueda all on level par.
Day two was going to be a fascinating day.
Day two saw similar playing conditions and a quiet start from the leading pair. Daniel Westmark who started one back came out of the traps firing off 4 birdies in his first 10 holes, he bogeyed the tough 11th bringing him back to -2 for the tournament, but still leading coming down the closing holes.
Overnight leader Ruben Holgado Guerro struggled in the heat as did young amateur Miguel Anon, with six holes to play three players were now tied on -2 one of those Andres Rosa Rueda had back to back bogeys at the 13th and 14th which put paid to his charge at the title.
This left Daniel Westmark and Adam Saga to slug it out for the title, Adam bogeyed the 15th which moved him back to -1, Daniel now with a one shot lead and playing in the group in front of Adam, birdied the par 3 16th to move to -3, but then took 6 on the par 5 17th moving him back to -2, he made a 6 foot par putt on the last to finish on -2. Adam Saga now needed to birdie the last to force a play-off, standing over 30 foot putt on the final green Saga pulled the putter back and the ball went rolling towards the hole, but came up agonisingly short, he holed for his par and second place.
All this meant that Daniel Westmark with scores of 72, 70 and a -2 total of 142, won the inaugural Gecko Euro Pro event by one shot from Adam Saga.
The response from all the players was fantastic with many of them already registered for future Gecko Euro Pro tournaments. They are now spreading the word on what will become the new breeding ground for young Spanish and European Talent.
Several players who participated on Apps Tour event in Madrid have asked how the event went and are looking forward to competing in the next tournaments at Santa Clara and at LaCala in the coming weeks.