PGA of Greece Professional, Henrik Engdahl, earned himself another line in the history books by winning the Aegean Airlines Pro-Am for the second time at Costa Navarino in Greece. This edition was hugely emotional for all concerned, taking place only a few weeks after the passing of the creator of the Pro-Am, Chairman of Aegean Airlines, and friend and pupil to Engdahl himself, the late, great Mr Theodore Vassilakis.
Engdahl began the final round just one off the lead, and after moving a further shot behind by the halfway point, he had some divine inspiration from Mr Vassilakis making four consecutive birdies from hole 13 of The Dunes Course.
“I just feel so happy, and my heart keeps pounding, it is a very emotional victory for me…I had some divine help today,” said Engdahl, who finished with a five-under 65 for a -10 total (202).
“Mr Vassilakis is the reason I came to Greece – I didn’t know much about Greece, or golf in Greece, until 2007 when I came for the Aegean Pro-Am and I managed to win that one. Then we kept in contact and then all of a sudden he said ‘why don’t you come down and work for me at the Crete Golf Club’ in 2011 and I’ve been there ever since.
“I literally had daily contact with him, we played so many rounds together, and enjoyed each others company – so of course I dedicate this victory to him.”
Second place fell to the South African 2015 Aegean Champion, and 2014 winner of the Aegean-sponsored ‘Aegean Airlines Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort, Jake Roos. Despite a strong charge with five birdies and thee bogeys in the first 11 holes, six pars and a bogey to finish meant it was only good enough for a one-under par 70 and a three round total of 205 (-7).
PGA of Italy Members, Emanuele Canonica and Federico Elli shared third place on six-under par (206) having both challenged for first place as well in the final round, but not quote being able to keep bogeys from the card to remain in position.
The Team Pro-Am event was hotly contested over two rounds, and was ultimately won by Team Ficalbi led by PGA of South Africa Chief Executive, Ivano Ficalbi, with amateurs, Roy Braxton, Avgerinos Piagalis, and Lefty Piagalis. The team carded 94 and 91 points for a total of 185 points (-41), taking the title on count back.
On the same score of 185, finishing in second, was the team led by Costa Navarino’s own resident PGA of Greece rofessional, Chryssanthos Diakou, with amateurs Claude Idoux, Ciprian Zavloschi and Marinela Zavloschi.