Desert Springs Resort, Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course in the Almeria region of Andalucía, south-east Spain, was host to this year’s season-ending Andalusian PGA EuroPro Tour Championship between Wednesday 24th – Friday 26th October.
Nick McCarthy carded rounds of 67, 64, and 68 in a must-win finale to be crowned champion.
McCarthy started the week 24th in the Order of Merit, needing nothing less than a win if he was to play his 2019 season on the Challenge Tour.
A second-round tournament low of 64 put him in the driving seat but still left him with plenty of work to do and with high-class golfers just a few shots behind, he embarked on what he anticipated to be a gruelling final round. However, McCarthy showed no signs of nerves as he flew out of the tracks, picking up five birdies in his opening seven holes to open a three-shot cushion over the field.
But, the birdie train de-railed at the ninth, as McCarthy dropped shots on the 9th and 11th whilst Surry drew level for the first time in the round. McCarthy remained un-phased and bounced back with an excellent birdie at the 12th, before collecting his final birdie of the day on the 17th. A stunning approach shot into a tricky pin, positioned at the back of the green, gave him an easy birdie and a four-shot cushion heading down the 18th as Surry could only manage a bogey to fall back to -14 with the chasing Coupland.
And with the ball in McCarthy’s court, barring complete disaster on the last his mission was achieved, a three-putt bogey was enough to give him a three-shot win, and more importantly the coveted Challenge Tour card he was chasing.
“To go out leading, and to now be standing here with this trophy is the best feeling ever.” Said McCarthy.
“I won’t lie I felt the pressure, and there were a few things running through my head, whether I should attack it or not, but I just tried to play as I did in the last two rounds.”
“After my approach into 17 I started to believe that it was going to be my day, especially as Steve had found a bunker I thought I would at least be heading down the last with a three-shot lead. I relished being in a final group with two quality players beside me, I felt we pushed each other along today as there were a lot of birdies out there. It’s great to finally get my hands on a bit of silverware, I’ve had some chances over the years and not quite got the win so to be stood here with this trophy is great.”
Joining McCarthy and Coupland as graduates onto the Challenge Tour next season include Boston’s Billy Spooner, a two-time winner this season; Joe Dean who was the highest ranked player (5th) to not win this season, and Mark Young who came tantalisingly close to the £250,000 four-win bonus on offer this season but will still take three wins under his belt as he bids to earn a European Tour card through Q School.
Highlights of the Andalusian PGA EuroPro Tour Championship will air on Tuesday, November 6th on Sky Sports Golf.
NOTE TO EDITORS
About Desert Springs Resort
Opened in 2001, Desert Springs Resort quickly established an international reputation for outstanding quality, attracting discerning golfers, international elite amateur teams and professionals, as well as major international events, including two Spanish Amateur Opens, host to the 2015, 2016 & 2018 PGA Europro Tour Championships and the 2017 & 2018 2nd Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.
Resort accommodation is provided in the apartments, townhouses and villas available for holidays and short breaks at Desert Springs Resort. Meals are served in the resort’s Croc Restaurant, part of the family-friendly Crocodile Club that is geared up for a wide variety of leisure activities and the award-winning El Torrente Restaurant at the Club House.
Visiting golfers benefit from resort gated security and full management and services that ensure all aspects of a golfer’s stay are taken care of. These include airport transfers, food hamper deliveries, babysitting and both resort and off-resort restaurant reservations.
- For details of Cricket & Sports Training Camps, Corporate Golf Events and Meetings at Desert Springs call 01242 680 116 or visit the website, desertspringsresort.es
- To find out more about the Desert Springs Resort click HERE.
Additional background Information:
Warm weather winter training camps at Desert Springs
Desert Springs, Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course, is already known as a resort specialising in family holidays, however it has rapidly gained popularity as a centre for warm-weather training for cricketers, athletes, and footballers, as well as golfers and is proving to be one of the most popular destinations for sports warm weather winter training camps.
All sports camps to Desert Springs are bespoke. If desired, the programme can include time away from the resort for some local sightseeing in what many regard as ‘the real Spain.’
During their stay attendees have opportunities to swim, play tennis and use the gymnasium, trim trail, jogging tracks, paddle tennis and beach volley ball courts.
Desert Springs is easy to reach from the UK, thanks to three international airports. They are: Almeria Airport, around 40 minutes away by road; Murcia Airport, 80 minutes by car, and Alicante Airport which is a drive of less than two hours. Airlines currently flying to the region from the UK include British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair, Jet2, and Fly Thomas Cook.
The Desert Springs Resort & Golf Club
Facilities already completed and in use at Desert Springs Resort include:
- The Indiana course, a par 72 -18-hole USGA specification golf course, designed by former Great Britain and Ireland Golf Team Captain Peter McEvoy who was inspired by the desert courses of Arizona and California;
- a golf academy whose PGA qualified teaching professionals cater for several international teams, for many of the English County Union’s elite squads; PGA European Tour, PGA Europro Tour and LET players.
- two tennis courts, two paddle courts, beach volley ball and two football pitches – one is a full-size grass pitch; the other is designed for five-a-side games;
- a cricket ground with an eighteen (18) wicket square, constructed to ECB standards and specifications open all year round. Complimented by a Marquee pavilion, sightscreens, scoreboard, sprint strips, and associated facilities, it provides an outstanding facility to practice and play cricket.
- a Cricket Academy with facilities that comprise; twenty-four (24) grass wickets and run up with nets, one artificial wicket with nets, a full length artificial grass wicket, a Professional Bola Bowling Machine with 28 ball feeder, requisite training equipment and a specific hard standing area, which provides outside space for facilities such as a free weights gym, stretching mats and a medical area.
- a Spanish colonial style Golf Club House with a lounge, bar, restaurant, locker rooms, TV and reading rooms, and a Ralph Lauren Golf Boutique;
- The Crocodile Club which provides family fun at the heart of the resort with pools, equipped sand play areas, a kid’s battery powered John Deere Gator circuit as well as a Jacuzzi, sun lawns and a pool bar;
- a health and fitness club and spa.
Desert Springs Resort was awarded Best Golf Resort for Groups in Europe by the 2016 European Group Travel Awards (EGTA). The Indiana Course at Desert Springs Resort has also been recognised as the 6th Best Golf Course in Spain, based on the reviews of players who rated the course on the Leading Courses website. Out of the 345 courses present on this ranking the Indiana Course at Desert Springs occupies 6th place with a score of 8,8/10, and awards Desert Springs Golf Club with the “Outstanding” badge. This distinction is only given to the best 10 courses in the country.
Desert Springs Resort has been awarded the Daily Mail Best Almeria Award and the Bentley International Property Awards for the Best Spain Development and Best Architecture, as well as the Spanish National Madera Verde Prize for Environmentally Sensitive Development, the SICTED award for the distinction of “Commitment to Tourism Quality” and Andalucía’s Premier Tourism prize for 2017, the coveted and prestigious ‘Excellence in Management’ Award.
El Torrente Restaurant has received the New Millennium International Gastronomy Award for the Tourist, Hotel and Catering Industry. This award was created by the Trade Leaders Club with the aim of distinguishing companies from all countries, for the outstanding quality of their products or services.
The climate of the Almanzora coastal region
Desert Springs takes its name from the region’s desert microclimate, which is unique in Europe. It has the warmest winter weather on the continent with an annual average of more than nine hours of daily sunshine and maximum daily temperatures of between 16°C (60°F) and 30°C (86°F) throughout the year. Annual rainfall is less than 200 mm. The Almanzora coastal waters are among the cleanest and warmest in Europe, attracting both fish and diving enthusiasts.
NOTE: High Resolution Images available upon request.
The Almanzora Group Ltd
The Manor, Boddington, Cheltenham,
Gloucestershire GL51 0TJ
Tel: +44 (0) 1242 680116
Mob: +34 678 235 716
Nick McCarthy Winner of the 2018 Andalusian PGA EuroPro Tour Championship at Desert Springs Resort
Nick McCarthy plays his approach shot on Hole 15 on the Indiana Course at Desert Springs Golf Club
Nick McCarthy on Hole 17 on the Indiana Course at Desert Springs Golf Club
Spacious fairway frontage villas that allow for an unforgettable stay at Desert Springs Resort
Desert Springs Resort apartments that overlook the championship Indiana course