A final slice of the Benahavis action

6/1/2012 10:16:22 AM
Spot the celebrity at the Benahavis Senior Masters (of course we mean Mike Harwood, not Fabio Capello!)  (Getty Images)
Spot the celebrity at the Benahavis Senior Masters (of course we mean Mike Harwood, not Fabio Capello!) (Getty Images)

Getting ducks in a row

There was a minor animal emergency during the second round of the Benahavis Senior Masters when it was called in over the walkie-talkies that some ducklings had been caught in a grill on the golf course.

Thankfully, there were people there to help and the ducks were rescued from the situation in what was a very quack fix.

Fernandez holes all the aces

After the opening round of the Benahavis Senior Masters, a clinic was held for some of the most talented young golfers in the local area, where golf is part of the school curriculum and kids can play all of the local courses for free.

It turned out to be a great evening of fun as the kids, some as young as five, had a go at trying to hit the ball closer to the pin than five Senior Tour professionals - Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti, Spaniards Victor Garcia, Antonio Garrido, Manuel Piñero, Juan Quiros and Angel Fernandez of Chile.

The kids certainly gave the pros a run for their money, with some getting closer to the pin. But Fernandez wrapped up what was an enjoyable occasion in style.

On the last shot of the day, the Chilean fired a delightful pitch towards the green and to the delight of the crowds present, the ball dropped in! What a showman.

Come dine with us in Benahavis

As mentioned previously in our Slice of the Action, Benahavis is known as dining room of the Costa Del Sol and this week the staff and players have discovered that this almost too modest a term for an area which boasts some truly incredible restaurants.

The small village of Benahavis is a place of real beauty. The drive there takes you through what is surely some of the most stunning landscape in southern Spain before you come along a small street of shops and restaurants, which is quaint but also atmospheric.

A stroll through the winding streets takes you past some very typical small Spanish bars, where some of the Senior Tour staff were treated to a quite delicious Sangria.

The numerous restaurants were buzzing with life, locals mixing with tourists and enjoying the fine culinary delights of the area. A real gem, this place.

No shame in second place?

There was quite a competitive edge amongst the Senior Tour staff at the Benahavis Senior Masters this week as they prepared for a Table Quiz on the evening after the first round, in Benahavis town.

The staff entered two teams, one captained by recorder Carmel Treacy, alongside referee Steve Cavanagh and photographer Phil Inglis. The second was captained by tournament director Gary Tait and he was joined by scoreboard team Paul Dempster and Mike Sharples.

And the following morning there were joyous celebrations and much bragging as one of our teams emerged victorious, team Treacy, Cavanagh and Inglis proving their worth with a two-point win.

As the winners boasted of their glorious moment in the sun the following morning, fellow staff members as well as players tried to console the other team as they came to terms with the defeat.

"There's no shame in second place," we reassured them. But then, a most shocking revelation put paid to those words of commiseration.

There were only two teams. Dear oh dear.

Fabio takes Euro break at La Quinta

With the Euro 2012 Championships just a week away, one man who was afforded a last-minute summer holiday this year was Fabio Capello and he has been spotted relaxing at La Quinta Golf and Country Club this week watching all the action at the Benahavis Senior Masters.

The Italian, who led England to the Championship finals before parting company with the FA, is a member at La Quinta and is close friends with course designer Manuel Piñero, who is playing this week.

Indeed, Capello had planned to take his England team to a football training facility right next to the golf course prior to travelling to Poland for Euro 2012 and it was also reported that La Quinta was the first place he travelled to after departing the post.

With former Real Madrid and Arsenal player Julio Baptiste attending last year to watch Juan Quiros, the Senior Tour certainly has an impressive fan club membership list.

Come in Mr Chapman? Roger that

One of the great stories of the week so far has been the return of Roger Chapman to Europe after a stunning win at the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid at Harbor Shores, Michigan last week.

The Englishman was at one point eight shots clear of a field that included the likes of Hale Irwin, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Mark Calcavecchia, Fred Couples as well as some of the best players on the European Senior Tour, including defending Order of Merit champion Peter Fowler, Barry Lane, Gary Wolstenholme, Andres Forsbrand, Gordon Brand Jnr, Andrew Oldcorn and many more.

So understandably there has been a huge outpouring of congratulations for Chapman on his first Senior Tour victory.

Indeed, Costantino Rocca and Bob Cameron attended a press conference held at La Quinta Golf and Country Club and when the floor was opened to questions, the Italian sent his warm congratulations to the Ascot-based player.

This is why they call it the friendly tour!

A Dummies’ Guide to Benahavis

Here at the Senior Tour we get to play in some of the most beautiful regions in the world and Benahavis is no different. Here is a short guide to the area in southern Spain:

•    Benahavis was founded by the Arabs in the 11th Century and the name of the area translates as “son of Havis”, Havis being the king who reigned in the nearby Montemayor Castle.

•    It is one of the most mountainous villages on the west Costa Del Sol and has a full view of the spectacular Serrania de Ronda mountain range.

•    It has nine of the 60 golf courses on the Costa Del Sol and that number is expected to rise to 15 within the next decade.

•    It is often known as the dining room of the Costa Del Sol thanks to its beautiful restaurants.