Carry on Cruzing

Prolific winner Tiago Cruz triumphed again at Pinheiros Altos defeating Pedro Figueiredo in a play-off on the first extra hole.
With torrential rain overnight and more in the morning of the first day, the start of play was delayed until 12:00 and then we had to resort to a shotgun start in order to complete the first round. Cruz put together a splendid first round of 6 under par to lead at the end of the day by 3 shots from Jack Hiluta, the Portuguese duo of Joáo Ramos and Pedro Figueiredo and recent Walker Cup member Jack McDonald.

Although Cruz is a good front runner he would have to be aware that there were several European Tour members who would be keen to hunt him down on a benign second day.
We were spared further rain on the second day and with just light winds, scoring was understandably low given the quality of the field.
Portuguese European Tour player Ricardo Santos was the first to set a possible winning target at 7 under par by adding a fine 67 to his first round 2 under par 70
The 2016 Walker Cup pair of Cormac Sharvin and Jack McDonald performed very well in their first Algarve Pro Golf Tour event finishing 4 under and 6 under respectively.

In the final group the battle for first place was developing into a two-horse race between Cruz and Figueiredo and with 9 holes to go Cruz held onto a 2 shot lead. Figueiredo then made a double bogey on the tenth hole but only slipped a shot further back as Cruz made a bogey. Figueiredo the birdied the thirteenth and fifteenth holes to reach 7 under par and close to within one shot of the leader. The sixteenth proved to be pivotal in the battle for first place when Figueiredo made an Eagle to Cruzs’ Birdie and the pair were level pegging with 2 holes to play. Both parred the difficult seventeenth and with pars at the last it was into a play-off for the title over the first hole where it was decided by a par from Cruz to Fiueiredo’s bogey.