Click here to view picture of TEAM CANADA
WORLD UKRAINIAN GOLF CHALLENGE II - SPAIN 2001
From 6th to 13th May over 90 golfers and 50 supporters from Australia,
America, Canada, England, Germany
and Ukraine met in Puerto Banus on Spain's Costa Del Sol to contest the 2nd World Ukrainian Golf Challenge
and the 4th Australia V America Ukrainian Golf Challenge.
Mike Baraniak, President of the Ukrainian Golf Association of Great
Britain (UGAGB) and his committee from
England were our hosts and they put together a very successful event.
We knew we were off to a great start when tournament participants and
their wives and friends were entertained
at the welcoming cocktail party at the Pyr Hotel on the Sunday evening with several spirited speeches where the
speakers and audience, fuelled with the beverages of the evening, amused all those present ??..an energetic
start to what proved to be a great week.
Following Sunday night's festivities Monday was a designated practice
day. Most golfers took advantage of this
opportunity to travel to the Marbella Golf Club where the course proved to be the only winner. This was not a
good sign for the rest of the week. For those who did not play golf, lazing around the pool and viewing the
southern European style of sunbathing seemed to be the order of the day.
On Tuesday most of us travelled to the Alcaidesa Links Golf Course for
the first day of 4 rounds of competition
golf (whilst several golfers travelled to another course, but that is another story). The Alcaidesa course offered
many spectacular photo opportunities including views of Gibraltar.
Being a seaside course it is exposed to the elements. The day was
cool and windy where scoring was not impressive but the golf
course certainly was. Only 4 players managed to play to their
handicap or better. At day's end the World Team standings were
as follows - Canada leading on 392 pts from Australia 364,
followed by America 340 and Europe 314.
On Wednesday everyone this time travelled to the correct course,
Santa Maria Golf & Country Club, another testing layout, hilly,
tree lined and plenty of trouble, also plenty of wind and some sun,
but none the less another "gem of a course". On this occasion a
slight improvement as 9 golfers were able to play to their handicap or better. The highlight of the day was a
"Hole-In-One" at the 10th hole by Steve Felniak from Geelong. Team scores at the end of the day - Canada
353 and still leading with a total of 745, Australia 363 with a total of 727, followed by America 342 and a total of
682, and Europe 360 with a total of 674.
On Thursday we travelled to the Almenara Golf Course. A picturesque,
hilly course with quite a number of
challenging holes where if you hit it in the rough you simply re-loaded, and greens which were very quick. To add
to our torment it was windy and it rained for most of the round ? (and they promised us sun on the Costa Del Sol
!!). As you have guessed the scores reflected the difficulty of the course and the conditions of the day with only 1
golfer, Stefan Didora (Europe) 38 pts able to play better than his handicap. The daily Team scores were -
Canada 313 and still leading with a total of 1058 just ahead of Australia 320 with a total of 1047, followed by
Europe 305 and a total of 979, and America 290 with a total of 972.
Friday, the final day of competition and everything to play for.
We arrived at Los Naranjos Golf Club, a course
carved out of the orange groves which were once a feature of this area and to our surprise we were greeted with
a warm, sunny day (finally). The course was quite open, plenty of bunkers but large friendly greens, a contrast to
the courses of the previous 4 days. The golfers appreciated the friendlier course and more favourable conditions
with 11 players playing to their handicap or better and many more just outside their handicap. The Australian
Team appreciated the conditions more than most as they scored 417 for a total of 1464 to win the World Team
Title from Canada 380 on a total of 1438, followed by Europe 363 and a total of 1342, and America 339 and a
total of 1311.
The final day also decided the outcome of the Major Trophy winners over
the 4 days with Australian players
Harry LESIW (Sydney) 138 pts World Ukrainian Golf Champion
Wes FURYK (Melbourne) 133 Runner-Up
Mike HAMALIJ (Europe) 130 Third
Ivan FURYK (Melbourne) 100 pts World Ukrainian Scratch Champion
(This was a notable achievement as it was the 3rd occasion Ivan has won this world title having been successful
in Hawaii (1993) and Florida (1998). He was also Runner-up in this event at Yarrawonga (1996)
Michael LISOWIEC (Sydney) 130 pts Winner Flight 1 (H'cap
Myron KOPYSTANSKY (Canada) 130 Winner Flight 2 (H'cap 15-21)
Jurgen HUSE (Europe) 125 Winner Flight 3 (H'cap 22-28)
on c/b from Kon MEDWAY (Syd)
(Click here to
view Scores in detail.)
In addition to the World Team title Australia were also successful in
retaining the 4th America v Australia
Europe and Canada also inaugurated an international challenge (affectionately
called the "Colonial Cup"
despite protestations from Canada) between their respective nations with Canada the victors.
The golfers enjoyed some testing courses during the week in a part of
Spain that can only be described as a
golfing "mecca", and from all observations, our supporters, the wives and friends (non-golfers) were also well
catered for - they were able to enjoy the hospitality of southern Spain , visited Gibraltar and Tangiers, toured
quaint "white villages" in the hills and historic towns like Ronda as well as experienced shopping like only Spain
The week concluded with a grand awards evening in the ballroom at the
Andalucia Plaza Hotel and Casino where
the successful golfers and teams during the week were duly honoured and organisers from England, Australia,
America and Canada were acknowledged.
For those who attended this truly internationally acclaimed Ukrainian
event it was a memorable week and
provided an ideal forum for Ukrainian golfers and their friends to get together through their common interest in
golf and more importantly their Ukrainian heritage.
The next event has been scheduled for Hawaii in October 2003. This will
be the "10 Year Anniversary
Challenge" (where it all started back in 1993 between Australia and America) and will include the 3rd World
Ukrainian Golf Challenge ??. See You There!
Click here for more pictures of the
UKRAINIAN GOLF CHALLENGE II - SPAIN 2001