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Westport golfers win Race to Portugal
November 17, 2011

Liam Friel and Thomas Walsh, from Westport Golf Club, Ireland , dominated an international field to become Race to Portugal champions at the Algarve 's Monte da Quinta resort.

Friel and Walsh, who both play off a handicap of 13, scored 120 Stableford points over two rounds on Quinta do Lago's prestigious South course, winning by a huge margin of 12 points from their nearest challengers, John Kent and Brian Ridout, from The Drift, Surrey.

The Westport pair beat off the challenge of 18 other teams from across Ireland, the UK, Belgium and Sweden, gaining a two-shot advantage over the field on day one, in scoring 61 points. They then really turned the screw in the second round by scoring 59 points in testing conditions to increase their advantage to 12.

Friel was in particularly fine form on day one, scoring 38 points on his own. This gave him the platform to cruise to individual glory with 70 points, six better than second-placed Richard Joyce, from Effingham Golf Club.

Friel said: "Having never played competitive golf overseas before it was a great privilege to be part of the competition and winning was the icing on the cake.

"I didn't have any expectations coming into the event, my partner Thomas and I just wanted to come out and have a good time. During the back nine of the second round I was particularly nervous but I am proud that I got the job done and I look forward to defending the title next year.

"The organisation of the competition was tremendous and I was truly taken back by the beauty of the resort, the facilities at Monte da Quinta were fabulous, as was the golf course."

Golfers from around the UK , Ireland , Sweden and Belgium qualified from competitions at their home clubs which won them a place in the grand final as part of a week-long holiday in the spectacular Monte da Quinta resort.

As well as having access to some of the finest golf courses in Portugal , competitors also enjoyed the resort's hospitality at a welcome reception, gala dinner and prizegiving and could take advantage of the first-class spa and leisure facilities.

Monte da Quinta is one of the newest accommodation options in the Algarve and includes one, two and three-bedroom layouts, with each providing a tranquil, spacious environment for guests to enjoy during their stay.

The Race to Portugal will return to Monte da Quinta in 2012 and organisers are looking for more clubs to hold free qualifying events for their members. To get your club involved contact organiser Cyril Griffith on 07824 385101.

For further information on Monte da Quinta, or to book a stay call 00 351 289 000 300, email or go to .

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