Dan…”Garners” First Pro

Dan Garner led from wire to wire to record his first win as a professional golfer and in doing so beat a very strong International field which he spread-eagled after carding a brilliant 7 under par first round of 64. Garner’s closest challengers were Jack Hiluta, Jay Taylor and Jamie Abbott on 4 under par and with some 14 players on par or better chasing him, Garner would need a solid second round to hold off his challengers.
The second day was proving much trickier in a gusting wind that swirled through the Boavista hills making club selection difficult. Jay Taylor made an immediate move on the leader with an Eagle 2 at the first but Garner immediately retaliated with 3 consecutive birdies to increase his lead but then Harry Casey made a move with an Eagle on the eighth and a Birdie on the ninth to move a shot closer to Garner.
Local Hero Tiago Cruz finished strongly over the last 9 holes, harvesting 5 birdies for an inward half of 31 to set the clubhouse target at 6 under par.
Both Taylor and Casey came to the last on 7 under and looked to jump into the lead but then they both took a bogey and joined Cruz on 6 under and then all the trio could do was to wait and see if Garner stumbled playing the last. The back nine on the final day is always the most difficult for the leader and despite parking the bus on his lead, Garner was finding it a struggle to keep the charging pack at bay but he eventually reached the eighteenth tee on 9 under par with a 3-shot lead over Casey, Taylor and Cruz.
A good tee shot saw Garner in touching distance of that illusive first win and although he just missed the green left with his second shot, a chip on and two putts would see him home comfortably home. However, it was three putts later that saw Garner finally breast the tape and win by a single shot from the trio waiting in the clubhouse and both Casey and Taylor must be ruing taking a bogey on the last to miss out on a play-off.
Garner said, in his post tournament interview, that it was great to achieve his first win as a professional against such a strong field from all over the world and that the guaranteed prize fund of 10,000€ regardless of numbers was a great incentive to play on The Algarve Pro Golf Tour.