The first international golf tournament Messinia Pro-Am that took place in Costa Navarino during February 21-24 attracted 27 teams consisting of 27 top professionals and 81 amateur golfers from 14 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, the UK and the United States.
Taking place at The Dunes Course and The Bay Course, the 1st Messinia Pro-Am was played over 54 holes (three rounds) with teams consisting of one professional and three amateurs. The high level of the golfers offered a strong and competitive tournament where the daily results balanced until the end of each round.
The Messinia Pro-Am closed with a special gala dinner and prize award ceremony, presented by Nadia Boule and Christos Chatziioannou.
Opening the event, the chairman & CEO of TEMES (developers of Costa Navarino), Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, highlighted the long-standing dream of his father and founder of Costa Navarino, Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos, to make Greece a premier golf destination.
The first award of the night was a special “Hole in One” given to German journalist from Golf Spielen, Petra Himmel, one of only six golfers to have managed this rare feat in competition at The Bay Course. Himmel also received the awards for the “Longest Drive” and “Closest To The Pin” for women. David Arendt received the “Longest Drive” in the men’s category and Haris Papadopoulos received the men’s “Closest To The Pin” award.
The team of professional golfer Stuart Boyle and amateurs Haris Papadopoulos, Georgios Kyvernitis and Daniele Bovio came in first place and was followed by the professional Steve Dooley and amateurs Gerhard Komarek, Andreas Hainz and Gerhard Marischka that came in second. Professional Panos Karantzias and his team of amateurs Igor Graskin, Christian Werner and Bettina Schroeder won third place.
The evening concluded with the awards for the winning professionals.
The 1st Messinia Pro-Am champion was Federico Elli (PGA Italy). “Costa Navarino is always a top place to be… A wonderful hotel, wonderful golf course and all the staff are brilliant. I think this is one of the best spots for a golfing holiday… We will come back for sure next year.” said Elli. (His interview can be watched here.)
Elli was followed by Ralph Miller (PGA Holland) who came in second and Lorenzo Gagli (PGA Italy) who came in third. Hugo Santos, Emanuele Canonica were in fourth and fifth places respectively. The winner of the 4th Aegean Airlines Pro Am in 2009, Paul Nilbrink, came in sixth.
In addition to the top professionals, celebrities also participated in the tournament, such as top American basketball player Joe Arlauckas and German TV presenter Annica Hansen.
In addition, a special contest, sponsored by Intersys SA, gave three people the opportunity to win unique TomTom Sports Runner 2 watches.
Messinia Pro-Am Best of
As noted by the organizers, the 1st Messinia Pro-Am was a success because of the great support of many sponsors such as the tournament’s official airline partner and Star Alliance member AEGEAN. Official sponsors of the event includes Loux, the largest soft drink and juice company in Greece, Vodafone, Athens International Airport (AIA), Poseidonia, MyTransfer and CU BOX.
Company J.VOURAKIS SONS EE, an official supporter of the tournament, designed the awards for the prize giving ceremony. Other official supporters of the tournament were METAXA, Kyvernitis Travel, Heineken, Ford Motor Hellas and ΤοmTom Sports.
Messinia Pro-Am was also supported by a number of helpers: Kalamata Papadimitriou, the liquor and beverage brands of Stolichnaya and Fever-Tree, Predaris company with Cu Wrap, Dimiourgies company and the natural mineral water company Hyas.
The 1st Messinia Pro-Am was organized under the auspices of the PGAs of Europe, the PGA of Greece, the Hellenic Golf Federation and the Hellenic Olympic Academy.
The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) was a media sponsor of the 1st Messinia Pro-Am.