European Tour player, Ricardo Melo Gouveia returned to his roots at Laranjal to compete in “The Tile Mountain Classic” and proved his pedigree by winning in a play-off against Joáo Ramos after they had both tied on 6 under par.
The lead was shared after the first round by Tomás Silva and former Walker Cup star Jimmy Mullen who both shot very respectable 5 under par 67’s to lead by 2 from Joáo Ramos and Hugo Santos with Gouveia a further shot back.
On the second day with an easier wind to contend with the scoring generally improved and it was Tyler Hogarty who set the early clubhouse target of 5 under par after scoring an almost blemish free 4 under par 68.
Both of the leaders could not continue their first-round form and struggled throughout the day with both Mullen and Silva throwing shots away on the front nine to take themselves out of the reckoning.
The re-dedicated Pedro Figueiredo closed out his tournament with a fine 3 under par 69 to join Hogarty on 5 under par and the pair then had to wait and see if their score was going to be good enough to force a play-off.
In the penultimate group, it looked like Ramos was marching to victory when he birdied the twelfth hole to go to 6 under par and lead his playing partner, Gouveia by 4 shots and the tournament by one.
Gouveia then sprang into life and birdied the thirteenth, fifteenth and then Eagled the sixteenth while Ramos bogied the fifteenth to fall a shot behind his playing partner and into a tie with Hogarty and Figueiredo.
At the par five last Ramos produced an excellent birdie to tie Gouveia on 6 under par for the tournament and the pair headed off into a play-off for the title that would commence at the par 5 ninth hole.
The play-off was decided in double quick time when Gouveia fired in a great second shot to around ten feet whilst Ramos found the greenside bunker and a plugged lie.
Ramos failed to get up and down and make a birdie, which freed Gouveia up, as he knew he had two putts for the title and having that freedom allowed him to hole out for an Eagle and the win.
The standard of the players who are entering the Algarve Pro Golf Tour events is rising with each swing and with a European Tour place up for grabs for the winner of the Race to The Portuguese Open in May of this year, the quality will continue to improve.