Royal Aberdeen Golf Club’s PGA Professionals secured two of the top three spots at the 2017 TGI Golf Team Challenge, with Senior Assistant Joel Hopwood leading his team to victory, while Head Pro David Ross and his team finished third.
The event – sponsored by TaylorMade-adidas, PowaKaddy, Maui Jim and YOB Golf – was played at the Sueno Deluxe Resort in Belek, Turkey, and became one of the most challenging for all involved as unseasonal heavy rain fell throughout the 36-hole event.
However, Hopwood and his team of amateurs Mark Hay, Jeff Strachan and Adam De Carli, who had all travelled to the event from their homes in Dubai, staged a miraculous comeback to lift the trophy.
Laying in 18th position after the first round with 78 points on Sueno’s The Pines Course, the team rallied on the second day around The Dunes Course to score 88 points, giving them a combined 166.
This tied with the overnight leaders from Ardee Golf Club, led by PGA Professional Brian Kerley, with amateurs Tom Mulldoon, Kieran Grant and Martin Cummins. However, in the event of a tie the best score on The Dunes was to decide the winners, and it was Team Hopwood’s 88 points that earned them the top prize with Team Kerley shooting 83 on The Dunes.
“We had a little chat after round one as we were trailing the other Royal Aberdeen team and we couldn’t lose to them,” said Hopwood. “We hadn’t really thought about prizes, but then we all had one of those days were everything came off for us. It’s been an outstanding event, the courses, despite the weather, have been amazing and the organisation from TGI Golf along with the hotel has been first class. We look forward to defending the title next year.”
TGI Golf Partner David Ross, added: “This is my second year at this event and we enjoyed ourselves so much last year we were desperate to come back and the guys persuaded some of their friends to come too, allowing us to bring two teams.
“Even with the weather being as inclement as it has been it’s been a fantastic trip. The organisation and the spirit of the whole event is a great experience for everyone who comes along. It is the best organised team event I’ve played in and any TGI Partner could come along and enjoy the week with their friends and members, it’s the highlight of the TGI Golf events, and that’s saying something.”