New look for Star golf challenge

THE 16th Sunshine Challenge will have a partially new look. It will be run between November 4 and 11 and will again be based at the four-star Tivoli Almansor Hotel which has a spectacular view over the sea at Carvoeiro.

THE 16th Sunshine Challenge will have a partially new look. It will be run between November 4 and 11 and will again be based at the four-star Tivoli Almansor Hotel which has a spectacular view over the sea at Carvoeiro.

Morgado, Palmares and Pinta will be the three courses used for the main stableford rounds. The first-day team stableford will be held at Alamos while the optional Texas scramble on the final day will be at Gramacho.

Salgados - which looked more than a little scruffy last year while in the throes of rebuilding the clubhouse - and Boavista have dropped out.

Once again, The Evening Star will be involved in the regional matchplay tournament in Suffolk and Essex. The winner will fly to the Algarve to represent the paper against winners of other regional events off the back tees.

The entry fee remains at £15, but those who act quickly and secure their entry before the end of January will only pay £10.

Anyone who can attract three new competitors will be eligible for a free entry which is also on offer to last year's final four who did battle at Ufford Park.

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Winner Kevin Eagle (Rushmere), Simon Shepherd of Cretingham and David Sharp of Waldringfield will be able to compete free of charge.

The fourth semi-finalist, Will Shaw, is no longer eligible because he has turned professional.

Once again all entrants will receive a free logoed shirt worth more than the entry fee. Although I am awaiting confirmation, I am told there are negotiations to supply Greg Norman shirts which will be of excellent quality.

The overall newspaper winner in Portugal will receive a two or three-day break for two at Penina, the first course that Henry Cotton designed on the Algarve.

Alamos was a new venue in 2006. It is the latest course in the hills in the Morgado complex.

The greens were excellent and the fairways would have been top class but for the fact that they had been saturated by torrential rain during the previous 48 hours.

Morgado has already hosted a PGA Europro Tour event while Palmares, with its five links holes and second nine among the fir trees, is acknowledged as one of the jewels of the Algarve.

Pinta has hosted the final stages of the PGA European Seniors tour schools for the past two years. Even though rapid development has robbed it of much of its rustic charm, it is nevertheless an excellent test of golf.

Gramacho, also on the Pestana complex near Carvoeiro, is now 18 holes.

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