Local amateurs proving their worth in Madeira

5/18/2013 4:05:28 PM
Joao Carlota  (EuropeanTour)
Joao Carlota (EuropeanTour)
The success of the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI in giving career-changing opportunities for home-grown players was clear for all to see with Ricardo Santos’s victory in 2012, and a new breed of hopefuls, amateurs Gonçalo Pinto and Joao Carlota, have made their mark this year.

The two young amateurs made the half-way cut at Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra, despite the difficult conditions which many seasoned professionals struggled to overcome.

Pinto, a two-time Portuguese Amateur champion, reached the weekend at the Madeira Islands Open for the second time, having won the prize for the best amateur at the 2011 edition.

For Carlota, it is a step into the unknown and the 23 year old has been loving his experience playing alongside some of Europe’s top young professionals.

Indeed, he believes this week has given him something to strive for as the runner-up to Pinto in the 2012 Portuguese Amateur Championship, who plays out of the same Vilamoura academy in which Ricardo Santos developed his talent, attempts to prove his worth in a professional arena.

"It has been a great experience to play in the Madeira Islands Open - Portugal – BPI and to see how the professionals play, learn and gain competitive experience,” said Carlota.

“I played with professionals my age and it was really encouraging to see that I am a good level, very similar to theirs and I think this will really give me confidence in the future.”