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Sunday, 05 May 2019
Ilari Lindroos and Jyri-Pekka Saarinen, winners of the Finnish GolfSixes amateur qualification event  (European Tour)
Ilari Lindroos and Jyri-Pekka Saarinen, winners of the Finnish GolfSixes amateur qualification event (European Tour)

Two more lucky amateurs booked their place in June’s GolfSixes Cascais when Ilari Lindroos and Jyri-Pekka Saarinen won the amateur qualification event in Finland.

The Finnish leg of the amateur qualification, which is taking place across Europe as the GolfSixes format continues to spread and promote the game of golf, was held in Tapiola Colf Club in Espoo. A total of 72 players from across the Scandinavian nation attended the one-day event.

Mr Lindroos and Mr Saarinen earned themselves a luxury trip to Cascais in Portugal to play in the 12-hole pro-am ahead of the European Tour’s 2019 GolfSixes Cascais tournament, on June 7-8. They will stay on as the Tour’s guests to watch the championship.

The innovative event, in which teams compete over six holes in greensomes match play format, broke new ground last year when it introduced an all-female team and a mixed Captains team featuring 2018 Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn and 2019 Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew.

This year, an exciting new era dawns for the GolfSixes when it moves to the Portuguese seaside resort of Cascais and Oitavos Dunes Golf Club for the third edition.

It will be the first time the tournament will be held outside of the United Kingdom, and it will be hosted in partnership with the Municipality of Cascais and Event/Media agency U.COM – which stages the annual Millennium Estoril Open, an ATP Tennis Championship, in the same region.

The event will follow the same ground-breaking format as the 2018 GolfSixes, with four ‘Wildcard Teams’ – featuring stars of male and female golf – joining 12 other two-man teams of European Tour players representing their home nations.

The exciting two-day tournament will also be played over a Friday and Saturday for the first time. With the UEFA Nations League Final and Third-place play-off taking place in Portugal on Sunday June 9, an exciting weekend is in store for Portuguese sports fans and tourists alike.

The GolfSixes format has not only proven a huge success on the European Tour – with The 2018 Ryder Cup also featuring the concept as part of its build-up at Le Golf National – but it has also been adopted across the grassroots of golf.

The Golf Foundation, a registered charity with the aim of bringing golf to young people, has – in association with the European Tour, the R&A, England Golf, Wales Golf and Scottish Golf – launched a GolfSixes League throughout Britain for juniors.

Since May, 24 leagues have been staged across 22 UK regions, involving 112 golf clubs and nearly 1,500 junior golfers. Early results showed that nearly 30% of participants have been girls. The GolfSixes concept has also been rolled out in Belgium, Denmark, France and the Netherlands.

Oitavos Dunes is currently ranked 55th in Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Golf Courses in the World, while it is listed as Portugal’s Number One golf course.

It has hosted the Open de Portugal on four occasions, first in 2005 when Paul Broadhurst emerged victorious, and then in three years in succession in 2007, 2008 and 2009, won by Pablo Martin Benavides, Grégory Bourdy and Michael Hoey respectively.

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