Golf Tournament Set for Cuba

Palmares SA, the organization responsible for golf in Cuba, will host the inaugural Montecristo at the Varadero Golf Club in Varadero, Cuba. The competition is expected to be Cuba's biggest international golf tournament and will be the pre-qualifying event for the Cuban Open in 2010.

The main event will be held on Saturday May 2nd at Varadero. Limited to 72 competitors, the 18-hole tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. Both amateur and professional golfers are welcome to test their skills on the Varadero beachfront course. The winner will receive the Montecristo Cup and a guaranteed spot in the 2010 Cuban Open.

The awards dinner will take place following the competition at Xanadu Mansion, which was built in 1930. The mansion, once the residence of the DuPont family, is located on the club's grounds. Serving as guests of honor will be professional golfers Tony Jacklin and Ernie Els.

On Sunday May 3rd, there will be a nine-hole Cuban Junior competition for the Esencia Cup. In an effort to encourage the game of golf among younger Cubans, a group of local youths under the age of 17 will be coached and mentored by a PGA golf professional before the event. A select group of 12 juniors with the best golf skills will o compete in the Esencia Cup. The tournament will consist of three four-balls, followed by the trophy presentation by the British Ambassador to Cuba, Dianna Melrose.

The par-72 Varadero Golf Course stretches 6,856 and features several salt-water lakes that connect to the Caribbean. Designed by Canadian architect Les Furber this is the first and currently only 18-hole golf course in Cuba. The course hosted two European Challenge Tour Grand Finals in 1999 and 2000.

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