Ricardo Santos clinches win at the Pestana Sives IGT Challenge

Ricardo Santos from Portugal secured his first win on the IGT after shooting another sub par round of 69 in his final round, with Irish amateur Noel Murray taking second spot.

Under sunny skies and with a little breeze greeting the players at the start of the final round, the chasing players had the opportunity to put some pressure on Santos, but it was the amateur Noel Murray that mid way through the back nine had a chance to close the gap on Ricardo. Murray representing the Tournament Golf College had a 5 ft putt to close the gap to 2 shots with 5 holes to go, but the miss probably blew his chance to challenge Ricardo who was playing some solid golf all the way through the final round.

When Murray 3 putted the 14th and Ricardo holed a matching 6 ft birdie putt on the 15th the tournament was his to win, which he confidently did by parring his way to a closing 69 and 9 under par total of 201. Noel finished second on 5 under par 205, ahead of the fast finishing Albert Dóniga Lara who scorched the last 4 holes in 5 under with an eagle and 3 birdies, overtaking 5 players and securing 3rd spot on his own. Recently turned professional Ricardo Candeias played steady golf to finish alone in 6th on 212.

Sam Robinson finished with a 69 to come in 4th place, one shot ahead of Inder van Weerelt who closed with a 72, with the improving Tiago Cruz shooting a 69 to move into a tie with for 5th spot with the Dutchman.

Ricardo’s win moves him closer to Doníga Lara on the IGT Ranking, the two players that have showed the best form so early in the season, with both looking to capitalize on these playing opportunities in order to prepare for the upcoming season.

In his prize giving speech, Ricardo thanked the Pestana Group for supporting the IGT and especially for the quality of the golf courses with their smooth and quick greens proving a big hit with all the players.

The IGT now moves to the Pestana Alto GC for the 3rd event in the Pestana Series from the 27th to the 29th January with a pro am on the 30th of January open to all amateur players.