THE 1ST PACKAGE TO COMBINE VISITS TO TWO ISLANDS AND GOLF TOURNAMENTS
Participants in the Vanilla Islands Pro-Am
DAY 1 – STANDARD BANK VANILLA ISLANDS PRO-AM – TAMARINA – MAURITIUS
The first stage of the Vanilla Islands Pro-Am Tour kicked off in glorious sunshine. The 10 French and European teams were welcomed to the truly idyllic location of the magnificent Tamarina Golf Club. This 18-hole championship course (par 72), designed by architect Rodney Wright, combines technical holes with spectacular natural surroundings with viewpoints of the Rempart Mountain and Tamarin Bay. The Tamarina course is 6886m long and covers some 206 hectares. Everything has been carefully considered to ensure that golfers can enjoy excellent facilities and services. The golfers of the Vanilla Islands Pro-Am Tour were keen to praise the quality of the tournament’s services and organisation.
The first round began in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, with monkeys watching over the 13th and 14th holes to add an exotic touch to the day. As the Signature Hole of Tamarina Golf Club, the 13th hole was chosen for the “nearest to the pin” competition. Benjamin Legueux of Pro Patrice Barquez’s team won it. At the end of the first day, it was Pro Guillaume Lahey’s team, with Emilie and Alfred Seydoux and Bruno Gaccio, which led after the initial stage with a score of 92. They received prizes from the competition’s partners at the cocktail party at the end of the day. The competition has begun.
DAY 2 – STANDARD BANK VANILLA ISLANDS PRO-AM – TAMARINA – MAURITIUS
The Standard Bank Vanilla Islands Pro-Am consists of 2 stages of 54 holes with 6 rounds of golf in total. The ranking is calculated by adding the 2 best gross and net balls per hole. The net score takes precedence over the gross score. The Stabelford scoring system is used with a handicap with an index limit of 36. And so the second day of competition began at Tamarina Golf Club.
The course was more difficult to play than on the first day due to an ever-present breeze, but the team led by Pro Eric Zancanaro and his partners Valérie Gulyas, Jean-Jacques Pons and Claude Carbonneau played well. An excellent performance for the team saw them finish with a score of 85, having finished in 6th place the previous day (79).
Having come top on the first day, Guillaume Lagey’s team finished in second place. There’s plenty left to play for in Mauritius: Guillaume Lagey’s team will have to maintain their advance, 8 net strokes ahead of the team led by Patrice Barquez, hot on the their heels, having finished in 2nd and 3rd place during the first two rounds. The third day is set to prove decisive. The monkeys on the 12th and 13th holes didn’t manage to bring the golfers the same luck as they had the day before. We’re looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow !
DAY 3 – STANDARD BANK VANILLA ISLANDS PRO AM – TAMARINA – MAURITIUS
The third and final day of the competition on Mauritian soil.
Despite a very friendly and good-natured atmosphere, the tension was palpable this morning between the top two teams. After a coaching session with his teammates, the team led by Patrice Barquez finally won with a score of 89. With 256 points, they’re ahead of Guillaume Lagey’s team, their nearest competition, by just 3 points. Eric Zancanaro and his teammates finished in 3rd place. Valerie Gulyas won the “nearest to the pin” competition on the 13th hole: 1.96m away. There’s still time for things to change during this Pro-Am. Everything is still to play for during the second stage in Réunion.
Today brought good and bad news regarding the golf course’s friendly monkeys. The good news: they kindly and politely put Bruno Gaccio’s mobile phone back into his bag, in the exact place he’d left it! And the bad news? Some of them missed the day’s competition, having eaten too many anti-inflammatories. They’d got them mixed up with the mobile phone. We’re sorry to leave the primates at the fantastic Tamarina Golf Club as we make our way to the next stage in Réunion. The 4th round of the Vanilla Islands Pro-Am Tour 2017 begins on 26 November at the Bassin Bleu Golf Club.
DAY 4 – VANILLA ISLANDS PRO-AM TOUR – BASSIN BLEU GOLF CLUB – RÉUNION
After three days of competition in Mauritius, the 4th stage of the Vanilla Islands Pro-Am Tour began at the Bassin Bleu Golf Club in Réunion. The players enjoyed an unusual course in the hills of Saint Gilles, known for its technical difficulty. Having played host to a well-known Open tournament for professionals the day before, this 18-hole golf course will leave players with unforgettable memories of its 9 holes overlooking the sea and 9 holes set in a lush forest of eucalyptus trees. The day wasn’t easy for the teams, particularly the 4th hole. The ravine which crosses the course seemed to attract golf balls. There’s now an entire basket of balls there for anyone who wants to practice… We left the monkeys behind at Tamarina Golf Club in Mauritius but a few nostalgic players brought stuffed toy monkeys to accessorise their drivers when teeing off this morning. The wildlife here seemed to appreciate the golf. This time at Bassin Bleu, cats and chickens paid the golfers a visit. The day came to a close as the sun set with victory for the team led by Patrice Barquez. Just two days left for the other teams, particularly Guillaume Lagey’s team (2nd in net scores), to try to make up the 11 points by which they trail. Tomorrow, the penultimate round of this competition will be played at Bourbon Golf Club in L’Étang Salé: a different setting for yet another golfing experience in the Vanilla Islands.
DAY 5 – VANILLA ISLANDS PRO-AM TOUR – BOURBON GOLF CLUB – RÉUNION
The penultimate stage of the Vanilla Islands Pro-Am Tour was held on the greens of Bourbon Golf Club in L’Étang Salé. The players teed off at the first of the course’s 18 holes (par 72) in blazing sunshine. The club was founded in 1969, making it one of the oldest on the island of Réunion. Designed by the famous architect Michel Gayon, Bourbon Golf Club in L’Étang Salé is an “inland” course with a classic, open but technical design with many raised greens and about fifty cleverly placed bunkers. Its endemic vegetation and its geographical position make it a unique golf course and one of the most impressive tourist sites in Réunion.
After four days of competition and with the additional obstacle of the heat, signs of fatigue began to show. The team of locals led by Jean Philippe Welter outclassed everyone in these conditions with a score of 97, 16 points more than the next team! They remain in the lead in Réunion. There’s just one day of competition left at Bassin Bleu Golf Club which will decide the definitive rankings. Despite the competition, this event (which is available as a tourist package) was good-natured from start to finish. The golfers enjoyed the sport they love so much as part of their holiday to the Indian Ocean.