SPAIN

Alcanada keen for more tour tests

By Steve Wilson,  

Photo by Club de Golf Alcanada

Club de Golf Alcanada is ready to embrace more high-profile professional tournaments after rising to the Challenge in style.

The outstanding Mallorca course, in the north of the island near Alcudia, hosted its maiden European Tour-sanctioned event as Italian Francesco Laporta secured a two-stroke victory and cemented his place as Challenge Tour number one with a six-under-par winning total.

He was joined by the next 14 qualifiers who have earned their promotion to the European Tour for 2020 as the top-45 in the rankings battled it out in windy conditions and a weather delay on the final day.

But the course and the venue passed its examination with flying colours and director of golf, Kristoff Both, believes all the hard work and the cost of around €200,000 was all worthwhile.

Both said: “It was a wonderful week for us. It was a memorable experience and I’m very proud of the staff and what everyone connected to Alcanada has achieved.

We’ve had great support from officials, authorities and a team of 120 volunteers but we basically had two-and-a-half months to pull this off – and we did a great job.

“The officials from the European Tour were very complimentary. I got the impression they would be very happy to return in the future and we would love to host it again.

“The experience was awesome and great for locals to see a Tour event here again in Mallorca and it’s hard to put a figure on that. With the amount of media and TV exposure, hopefully, we will see some more bookings in 2020 and beyond.

“But I think it also places the course on a new level as a European Challenge Tour Grand Final venue.

“I would definitely say it was all worth it.”

As part of the four-year agreement with the Challenge Tour to host the Road to Mallorca there will another host venue elsewhere on the island in 2020 but Both is hopeful Alcanada may get another shot in 2021.

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Photo by Club de Golf Alcanada

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr and opened in 2003, Alcanada already boasted its coastal setting with inviting views across the Bay of Alcudia towards the iconic lighthouse.

But Both was also delighted that the extensive €700,000 renovation project stood up to a serious test after all 18 greens were replaced over the winter of 2018/19.

He said: “We had some really positive feedback from the players and many said they did not have facilities as good as these on the Challenge Tour in every tournament, which was nice to hear. 

“To see a winning score of six-under-par was also great as it meant they didn’t tear the course apart and there were a few worries from some people that it may be too easy for them at the start of the week.

“The wind certainly played a part in that but it was fantastic to see the greens play as they did. At one point, they were running at around 12.5 on the Stimpmeter – although we were asked to slow them down a little over the weekend by tournament officials because of the weather.

“Most importantly, it was great to promote golf in Mallorca and now we have that experience of hosting an event like this so we will be even more ready for next time.”

Champion Laporta was equally pleased with his week’s work.

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Photo by Club de Golf Alcanada

He said: “I played some of my best golf of the year on a tough course in such a beautiful place under tough conditions. It feels unbelievable to win.”  

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