Desert Springs Resort, Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course in the Almeria region of Andalucía, south-east Spain, was host to this year’s season-ending Andalusian PGA EuroPro Tour Championshipbetween Wednesday 24th – Friday 26th October.
Nick McCarthy carded rounds of 67, 64, and 68 in a must-win finale to be crowned champion.
McCarthy started the week 24th in the Order of Merit, needing nothing less than a win if he was to play his 2019 season on the Challenge Tour.
A second-round tournament low of 64 put him in the driving seat but still left him with plenty of work to do and with high-class golfers just a few shots behind, he embarked on what he anticipated to be a gruelling final round. However, McCarthy showed no signs of nerves as he flew out of the tracks, picking up five birdies in his opening seven holes to open a three-shot cushion over the field.
But, the birdie train de-railed at the ninth, as McCarthy dropped shots on the 9th and 11thwhilst Surry drew level for the first time in the round. McCarthy remained un-phased and bounced back with an excellent birdie at the 12th, before collecting his final birdie of the day on the 17th. A stunning approach shot into a tricky pin, positioned at the back of the green, gave him an easy birdie and a four-shot cushion heading down the 18thas Surry could only manage a bogey to fall back to -14 with the chasing Coupland.
And with the ball in McCarthy’s court, barring complete disaster on the last his mission was achieved, a three-putt bogey was enough to give him a three-shot win, and more importantly the coveted Challenge Tour card he was chasing.
“To go out leading, and to now be standing here with this trophy is the best feeling ever.” Said McCarthy.
“I won’t lie I felt the pressure, and there were a few things running through my head, whether I should attack it or not, but I just tried to play as I did in the last two rounds.”
Nick McCarthy plays his approach shot on Hole 15 on the Indiana Course at Desert Springs Golf Club
“After my approach into 17 I started to believe that it was going to be my day, especially as Steve had found a bunker I thought I would at least be heading down the last with a three-shot lead. I relished being in a final group with two quality players beside me, I felt we pushed each other along today as there were a lot of birdies out there. It’s great to finally get my hands on a bit of silverware, I’ve had some chances over the years and not quite got the win so to be stood here with this trophy is great.”
Nick McCarthy on Hole 17 on the Indiana Course at Desert Springs Golf Club
Joining McCarthy and Coupland as graduates onto the Challenge Tour next season include Boston’s Billy Spooner, a two-time winner this season; Joe Dean who was the highest ranked player (5th) to not win this season, and Mark Young who came tantalisingly close to the £250,000 four-win bonus on offer this season but will still take three wins under his belt as he bids to earn a European Tour card through Q School.
Highlights of the Andalusian PGA EuroPro Tour Championship will air on Tuesday, November 6thon Sky Sports Golf.
Natalie Powell won the fifth Grand Slam medal of her career when she took home silver in Abu Dhabi on Monday 29 October.
Powell won -78kg gold in Abu Dhabi last year but was going into this year’s competition off the back of a couple of early exits at the World Judo Championships and Cancun Grand Prix.
The British judoka took on WRL 1 Guusje Steenhuis (NED) in the final with Powell having beaten the Dutch fighter on her way to gold at last year’s event.
It was a tight and cagey contest with neither judoka able to dominate. The British fighter picked up a shido for passivity but had more than held her own against her higher-ranked opponent
With just over a minute left Steenhuis took a dominant grip and threw Powell for waza-ari. Powell continued to press hard but couldn’t get a score back despite forcing a shido on the Dutch fighter.
Speaking afterwards Powell said:
“I am pleased with my performance today. I was able to correct a few points from the last few competitions and bring it all together to get back on the podium. As always, I’ve come away with lots to work on, and am looking forward to the next few months preparing for the Masters.”
The silver will also give the British fighter 700 points towards Tokyo 2020 qualification
Powell had started her day against Polish judoka Beata Pacut. Powell had lost to Pacut last time out at the Cancun Grand Prix.
She made no mistake this time as she waited for an opportunity to throw her opponent for ippon with Ashi-Guruma.
Her semi-final saw her take on WRL 9 Karen Stevenson. These two had already fought twice this year with the record standing at 1 – 1.
Stevenson came close to scoring on a few occasions with Powell eventually picking up a shido for passivity.
With just under a minute and a half left Powell got into clinch with Stevenson and showed good determination to throw the Dutch fighter for ippon with Ouchi Gari.
Kate Howey MBE, GB Head Coach, said: “Natalie’s performance today was much better than Cancun as she has corrected some minor points from that competition. It is good for Natalie’s confidence to gain ranking points to help towards qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo.”
Powell’s silver meant that GB Judo finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam with two medals following Chelsie Giles’s bronze from Saturday.
Giles beat Israel’s WRL 18 for bronze, scoring waza-ari in the last thirty seconds of their contest.
At -90kg Max Stewart reached the third round, losing on shidos to WRL 2 Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB). The Serbian judoka’s greater attacking intensity resulted in three shidos for the British fighter in normal time.
Stewart had started his day with a solid win over Faruch Bulekulov (KGZ). The Kyrgyzstan judoka came out on the offensive, but Stewart soon forced his opponent into picking up two shidos.
He then took advantage of a poor drop attack to score waza-ari. Bulekulov continued to press for another score but the British judoka threw him for a second waza-ari using sumi-gaeshi.
Chelsie Giles claimed her first Grand Slam medal of her career with an assured display of judo on the first day of competition at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.
The young Brit has had a breakout year on the mat which has saw her pick up her maiden Grand Prix medals earlier this year and this weekend saw her go one better.
An accomplished performance in the Bronze medal contest against Israel’s Gefen Primo saw Giles take her spot on the podium. The two had not met since the Junior European Championships which saw Primo claim the win on that occasion. With revenge on Giles’ mind, she was faced with a number of openings during the contest but just lacked a killer instinct in certain situations. With just 10 seconds left of regulation time, Giles registered a waza-ari to hand the young Brit the medal and added further to her growing credentials as one to watch out for in the -52kg weight category.
Giles commented “I think I fought well today and I was on point with my fight plans. I was really please with the contest against Kelmendi as I only lost on shidos and in Golden Score. I am happy that I have 500 points towards Olympic Qualification and won my first Grand Slam medal”
Coach Kate Howey was impressed with Giles’ performance today, “Chelsie fought well today and was very composed in each fight. She gave the Olympic Champion a very good fight and she will use this as a marker going forward. This is Chelsie’s first Grand Slam medal and she is picking medals up at the right time as they are all going towards Olympic qualification.”
Giles received a bye in the opening round of the competition and opened up with a contest against Hong Kong’s Shuk Ki Tsui. It was a tentative affair from both judoka throughout the contest. It wasn’t until the closing minutes that Giles spotted an opening on her opponent and took full advantage to work her to the mat. It was enough to secure a waza-ari and she did well to keep her opponent subdued on the mat to take home the win.
That win moved Giles into the Quarter Finals and set up a tie against Switzerland’s Evelyne Tschopp. The Swiss athlete is the World No.12 and won Bronze at the recent Cancun Grand Prix. The pair had met once previously with Tschopp coming out on top at the Budapest Grand Prix. A tentative start once again from Giles with Coach Kate Howey urging her forward, Tschopp looked to be on top. She adopted a lapel grip in an attempt to negate Tschopp and it paid dividends. The contest went all the way into Golden Score and just 30 seconds into the extra period, Giles struck! She spotted an opening to register uchi-mata to set up a semi final against the Olympic Champion!
Kosovo’s Majlinda Kelmendi has not competed since November 2017 and took a blow during the early stages of competition that forced her to take a medical timeout during the contest. The Olympic Gold medallist drew Giles’ head down in the exchanges numerous times in an attempt to unsettle the Brits balance. Giles picked up shidos regularly throughout the contest as Kelmendi’s experience showed as the Brit picked up a third shido in Golden Score.
Tune in for the second day of competition at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam as Alice Schlesinger, Lubjana Piovesana and Sally Conway all take to the mat to try and add to Chelsie Giles’ opening day medal.
After an incredible first event in Jersey just one month ago, Super League Triathlon (SLT) is back and this time, it’s on the stunning, historic Mediterranean island of Malta. In one of the biggest sporting events the island has ever hosted, the USA’s Katie Zaferes and France’s Vincent Luis both go into Super League Malta at the top of the SLT leaderboards after superior performances in Jersey.
What does Super League Malta look like?
Malta – whose capital Valletta was voted the 2018 European Capital of Culture – is the place to watch the world’s greatest triathletes battle it out in contention for the SLT Championship title this weekend, as well as the venue for Age Groupers (AG) and the local communities to get stuck into the sport.
As with all SLT events, the pro athletes will be taking on two of five challenging SLT formats in this Championship Series event: Malta will host the two-staged Equalizer on Friday (from 4pm CEST) and Sunday (from 1.30pm CEST), and the Eliminator on Saturday (from 1.15pm CEST).
Hallam Barbell Olympic Weightlifting and Strength Training Club recently won Best Amateur Sport Club award at Sheffield’s Celebration of Sport Awards.
The club has been running for 10 years to train weightlifters as well as offering a ‘life course’ which helps different demographics become fit and healthy.
The club, founded by Dave Hembrough, offers a range of activity for youths and adults including ‘Powerbelle’ which is a female only class and ‘Old Age-Strengtheners’ which is a class for elderly people.
Mr Hembrough said: “Winning this award is so important to the club because we have worked hard to get here, and it proves that our hard work is worthwhile and we are doing things right.
“Our club is a great community of men and woman of all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities who lift weights together. It is a supportive community that provides a social experience for our members and they benefit in more ways than just physical.”
The club’s fresh approach to exercise also includes their ‘MindfullySTRONG’ programme which combines mindfulness principles and physical training to encourage people to exercise without judgement and train for a positive reason rather than suffering.
The club were recently featured on BBC Look North, to view the feature click here
Image * Article courtesy of http://britishweightlifting.org/article/hallam-barbell-weightlifting-club-win-best-amateur-sport-club
10th ranked Mixed Doubles couple, the Adcocks, face the rapidly developing prospect, 18-year-old Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and his more experienced partner Ashwini Ponnappa. Dare either pair look beyond this match they’ll be frightened by the prospect of Chinese first seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong in the last 16. The World Champions knocked Chris and Gabby Adcock out of the Danish Open in the quarter-finals just last week. Siwei and Yaqiong will first have to conquer the other Indian pair (Kapoor/Garg).
Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith, on paper, have a slightly easier draw than the first round of the Danish Open last week where they lost to Chinese second seeds Wang and Huang. Debby Susanto and Ricky Karandasuwardi will not be easy opponents though, the Indonesians are currently ranked six places higher than the English pair in the world standings.
Raj Ouseph plays only his second competitive match as a father this week. Zachary Ouseph was born on Friday 28th September at 4:14am. Fresh after weeks of sleepless nights Ouseph senior has the hard task of playing Daren Liew in the first round. The Malaysian beat Ouseph in all three previous meetings, between 2012-14, without dropping a set.
Having stormed to the semi-finals in Odense last week, Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge face a first meeting with Bodin Isara and Maneepong Jongjit in Paris. Defeating the Thai pair could see the Olympic bronze medallists play Japanese fourth seeds Kamura/Sonoda in the next round.
In the Women’s Doubles, Lauren Smith and Chloe Birch have been drawn against unseeded Li Wenmei and Zheng Yu. The two pairs have never met, the victors may have to play Japanese seconds seeds Matsumoto and Takahashi in the Last 16. The formidable duo claimed Japan’s first ever Olympic badminton gold medal in Rio.
Image & Arucle courtesy of https://www.badmintonengland.co.uk/news/yonex-french-open-preview/
The Angling Trust and Canal and River Trust Canal Pairs Final took place in unseasonably warm and bright conditions across the Staffs and Worcester Canal and the Trent and Mersey Canal. There was talk of several hot areas at the draw and none more so was the Marina in A section, where previous match winning weights of bream had shown and once more it played a crucial part!
David Gough made the most of this Marina mouth draw in A section, just outside the crossover from the Stafford Boat Club and recorded the highest weight of the match with 7kg 370grams. David caught three quality bream along with around 3kg of silvers, which consisted of perch, roach and few skimmers. Most of David’s bonus fish came across the canal at 13m meters. However, one good draw was never going to be enough and it was his partner Paul Middleton that backed him up superbly on the Trent and Mersey. Paul put together a hard-earned 3.930kg from peg 25 consisting of mainly small roach and perch.
Second pair on the day by weight countback were Paul Murrin and Dave McCall, who amassed a tying 14 points, but took the second spot on weight countback with a superior 9kg 190grams. This is no small part was down to cracking performance by Paul Murrin who kept the overall winner honest with 6.020kg from adjacent peg 24, also on the marina mouth. Paul also netted two quality 3lb bream and backed this up with a good net of silvers. Dave McCall did the hard work on B section, where 3.170kg gave him 12th in section and grabbed the pair the second spot.
Conversely third pair on the day got most of their points from B section Trent and Mersey, where Pete Edwards amassed an impressive 4.120Kg from peg 26 giving him five section points. Over on Staffs and Worcester, Bob Yeomans had put together a tidy net of silvers, which included some decent perch for his 2.710kg and 9 section points.
The Angling Trust would like to thank both their partnering organiser Canal & River Trust Anglingand the competitions sponsor Dynamite Baits. A huge thanks to Alan Round and his team from Isaak Walton Angling club for all the preparation and bookings. Finally, and most importantly the biggest thanks to all the organisers and anglers who have fished the heats, we hope to see you again next year!
2019 Qualifier dates will be launched before Christmas, so watch this space for further details!
1. David Gough and Paul Middleton 8 points (11.300kg)
2. Paul Murrin and Dave McCall 14 points (9.190kg)
3. Bob Yeomans and Pete Edwards 14 points (6.830kg)
4. Simon Preece and Simon Mottram Fishing 17 points (6.610kg)
For a full list of results visit Angling Trust Competitions on Facebook