WHEN the Professional Golfer’s Assocation (PGA Cyprus) golf pros teamed up together and challenged the leading Cyprus Golf Federation (CGF) amateurs of the island to a ‘friendly’ competition with a title last year at Elea Estate, it produced a match of such high-calibre that it would have been remiss not to do it again this year.
Therefore, at 10am on Thursday, hosted by Minthis Hills Golf Resort and this year, sponsored by the PGA Cyprus and PGA Cyprus partner Abbeygate Insurance, these two significant golfing bodies will go head-to-head in the first round of the 2nd Annual PGA vs CGF Cup.
The second and final round, followed by dinner and a prize-giving ceremony, will take place on Friday, also at Minthis Hills.
The stakes are higher this year, however, as the inaugural competition ended officially in a tie, something neither team wishes to happen again. So, the competition is tougher, comprising two consecutive days and 36 holes.
This year, to be more like the Ryder Cup format, in addition to the fourballs team event, there will also be an individual competition. Both will be matchplay, with scores of 1 for a win, 1/2 for a tie, and 0 for a loss to be counted towards each player’s card.
Andrew Darker, Director of Golf at Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort and Chairman of PGA Cyprus is very enthusiastic. “Last year, the amateurs gained great respect for their quality of play, the professionals were impressed and it highlights the high quality of golf on offer in Cyprus.”
Captain of the PGA team this year will be David McKibben, the golf pro currently based at Minthis Hills. He will be supported by team members Andrew Darker, Paul Dyer, Danny Heard, Giles Johnson, Neil Sweeney, and newcomers to the island this year, Leonid Akhremenko and Robert Cook.
The CGF team is comprised of the top eight amateurs island-wide, chosen according to the National Order of Merit (NOOM) standings which are based on the cumulative scores from qualifying events played throughout the previous year. Captained by Peter Greenwood-Jones, the team members will be Christopher Furneaux, Steven Gargaro, Alvin Gayle, Andrew Heap, Charalambos Maratheftis, Steven Mitchell, Robert Reynolds, Demetris Spyridakis, with reserve Lou Cunningham.
Spectators are not only welcome but encouraged and the friendly rivalry is building in a competition that offers the unparalleled prize of bragging rights in addition to the perpetual trophy.
“Obviously the PGA is tipped to win the event,” says Giles Johnson, who co-owns the Cyprus Golf Academy located at Aphrodite Hills together with Danny Heard.
Both teams will be hoping the sunny weather stays, as last year’s biggest challenge was the gale-force winds on competition day.
For further information on the event, please visit the PGA Cyprus website: www.pgacyprus.com