Despite bright, early morning sunshine, a cold breeze accompanied the 50 competitors in the 2023 edition of the SICG President’s Cup. Every player received a memorial hat clip, and many also took advantage of the various liquid warmers provided on the 1st tee, including whiskey, and after-breakfast (!) port.
As the wind subsided, and temperatures rose to the mid-twenties, some sparkling performances were evident across the lush fairways and greens at Silves. President Tom Callan surveyed the unfolding drama from the comfort of the Buggy Bar, provided for the grateful competitors. Scoring was impressive, as players vied to tame the course, including some challenging pin positions. Nevertheless, the winners of ‘Nearest the Pin’, and ‘Nearest the Line’ prizes claimed their awards following very impressive efforts. Finally, with all scores returned, it was then possible to anticipate the prize-giving ceremony and Dinner, scheduled for the following evening at the Pestana Pinta clubhouse.
Around 60 members and guests assembled on a warm Algarve evening for the President’s Cup Dinner. Welcome drinks, and a selection of canapés were provided on the sun-drenched terrace before a three-course dinner, including drinks, was served indoors. The typically friendly SICG ambiance was enhanced by the prospect of winners being announced, prizes presented, and music from the renowned musician, Jackson Rivers.
Amazingly, both Gents' and Ladies' 'Nearest the Line' awards were claimed by the same household! Husband and wife, Antje and Volker Lankenau, scooped both prizes for a memorable ‘double’, and the delighted couple proudly collected their awards together. Following very impressive tee-shots, the Ladies' and Gents' 'Nearest the Pin' prizes were won by Leena Pettinien, and Geoff Nevin, respectively. Receiving his award, Geoff praised the condition of the greens, declaring that he "couldn't have done it without them!"
The fierce competition which characterised the 2023 President's Cup is reflected in the final 3 placings being separated by just a single point. Having returned an impressive 38 points, Tommy Struum claimed 3rd place, while runner-up, Markku Hakala, scored 39 points. However, having also returned 39 points, due to a better inward 9 holes, the worthy winner of the 2023 President's Cup was Gerry Murphy! A clearly delighted Gerry was presented with the trophy as fellow members applauded and loudly cheered a very popular winner. Following the prize-giving, a range of fantastic music from Jackson Rivers ensured that the celebratory mood continued, with dancing and singing until late in the evening.
Successful occasions do not, of course, happen by chance, and the significant input from various individuals was deservedly acknowledged on the evening. These included Alan Winstanley for the customary smooth processing of competition Start Start sheets, and the accurate, seamless collation of final scores. Similarly, the important contributions by Events Group members, Captain Margot, Yvonne Nevin, Asa Hedman, and Breege O'Connell cannot be understated. Others, such as, Rikki Huddleston, and Geoff Nevin, were also recognised as having ensured that the both the golf and the Dinner were successful SICG events. Gratitude was similarly conveyed to everyone who played in the competition, and to the members and guests who attended the Dinner. Finally, therefore, congratulations to everyone who participated and contributed to this latest edition of the President's Cup, and especially of course to this year's very deserving winner, Gerry Murphy!