With Coronavirus raging, golf tournaments around the world, including The Masters, cancelled, Tours suspended, hotels and countries in lock down, it was quite a feat that the David Short Golf Lopesan Open was completed before all competitors were banished to their bedrooms by the Spanish Police.
Under blue skies and at times blustery conditions, some remarkable scoring was returned. In fact the standard was so high, only one lost ball and a single visit to water was recorded. Don played 9 holes in 25 shots on four separate occasions leading three teams to victory, and a total of 5 holes in one were achieved over three days of competition.
The second days six ball challenge played to the ancient rules, including stymies, saw keen competition amongst fluctuating scoring. The extremely testing final hole almost proved the undoing of the front runner, Ronnie , who tumbled from 3 under to level, but with several near double digit scores from her fellow competitors she recorded a fine five shot victory over Runner up Gary, who, amidst the carnage of that final hole, recorded a magnificent 3 to overtake all but Ronnie.
However, even this wonderful play was made to look almost ordinary by the extraordinary play of Lopesan Matchplay Champion Paula. In the semi finals, facing an unbelievable two / one start by her opponent and the previous days winner Ronnie, she doggedly fought back, levelled the match, and following five halved holes, including a remarkable 15 footer up the Mackenzie tier on the final hole, took the match into extra time. With nerves of steel, Paula holed a tricky 15 incher on the lightning fast first to advance into the final.
Her opponent in the final, the incredibly consistent Don, was obviously shaken on realising she had broken his record score with a fantastic 24 in the semi finals and never really came to terms with the wobbleless Williams who stormed to 4 & 3 victory to become a most worthy winner of the inaugural Lopesan Links Open Matchplay Championship.
In her victory speech Paula was most complementary towards her opponent in the final, the fine test provided by the Lopesan course, and said she would almost certainly return to defend her Championship next year and how proud she was to be the holder of such a magnificent trophy.
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