2017 World Amateur Tour Champion Greg Pipkin produced a superb effort this week at stunning Punta Espada Golf Club for the Cap Cana Inaugural Championship.
The players were astonished to discover the best set up in the Caribbean and all agreed that the conditions were outstanding. The WAT was delighted to welcome Texans George Mc Daniel III and Rick Burleson. On the women series Paris’s Anne-Catherine Robin and Estonian Triinu Reinold joined in the women’s field. The American forces quickly surged into the lead during the first round. Pipkin, who benefited from a slight advantage as member of the host club, managed to sign a very decent score in extremely windy conditions. Frenchman Christophe Guedon kept the contact all day long, also signing a good card to secure the leaders’ tee-time for the final round. In the ladies’ series, for her 2nd start after last year’s Andalucia Championsip, Stephanie Chapon produced a good round to secure the first place.
After a challenging day on the course it was time for all the participants to meet up again with World Amateur Tour coaches. Former winner of the European Tour ranking and Ryder Cup Champion Ronan Rafferty and LPGA winner & Solheim Cup Champion Florence Descampe offered their precious advice until sunset.
After a quick rest all the players were invited by Gregory Pipkin for a cocktail and dinner alongside the beach shore. The evening was reminiscent of the Champion’s dinner at Augusta National.
As the sun rose the next morning on the Atlantic Ocean, we could once again enjoy the splendour of the Jack Nicklaus signature course. All the participants were ready for the final countdown.
American Jerry Sarvadi produced a very good front nine and surged into the lead after his 10th hole pushing Pipkin to react.
It was then time for the Texan to play his best golf and that’s what he did. Scoring 15 stableford points on the last 7 holes in very tough conditions, he finally ended up 4 points ahead of Sarvadi and 7 of Rick Burleson who finished at the 3rd place.
In the ladies’ series Stéphanie Chapon cruised to her first victory with a total of 41 points.
She admitted that the conditions were really windy but was so happy with the final result.
The Cap Cana Inaugural Championship ended up beautifully as players enjoyed a closing ceremony overlooking the Ocean.
After this first leg, Gregory Pipkin heads on top of the World Amateur Tour Ranking followed by Jerry Sarvadi and Richard Burleson while Stéphanie CHAPON leads the ladies ranking.
The World Amateur Tour Club Championship has a new leader with The Houston Country Club, following by last year’s winner Paris International Golf Club and Le Prieuré.
Everyone agreed that Punta Espada was one of the best World Amateur Tour golfing venues, making it a great golfing destination with the two other spectacular golf courses nearby, The Teeth of the dog at Casa de Campo and Corales.
All the players look forward to coming back soon.
Next stop will be held at West Cliffs golf links in Portugal from 3rd to 6th of May 2018.