A full week of business networking, emotions and competition. This is what was experienced during the 25th edition of the WCGC World Final, the culmination of the world’s largest network of corporate golf days, where the National Winners from approximately 30 countries came to Cascais to compete.
Executives from companies around the world represented both their company and country. The ‘Road to Cascais’ was the result of more than 150 events throughout more than 30 countries. Although all teams competed valiantly to become World Corporate Champions, there could only be one winning team lifting the trophy at the end of the week (designed and produced by Vista Alegre). In last year´s edition, that honour fell to the team from China.
The team from Thailand arrived nice and early in Cascais, allowing them to get in a few early practice rounds before the other world finalists arrived.
On day one Thailand were paired with the Czech Republic and got off to solid start scoring 65 points lying in joint 3rd place behind China on 68 points and Portugal the home team and favourites on 73 points.
Day two saw Thailand paired with France in the 3rd from last group, knowing they needed to get off to a fast start they came out flying and gained on leaders Portugal. By the 16th hole Thailand were in the lead. Coming down the 18th the team knew they would probably need four points to clinch it, and Judge, greenside in three shots, played an unbelievable shot from the waste bunker and holed the putt for his five.
With China out of the picture and Portugal needing a birdie and par down the last to tie, which proved too much it meant that Thailand had overcame an eight-shot defecit to win the World Corporate Golf Challenge Final by two shots. Their remarkable score of 80 Stableford points as pair, a score never been hit before in 25 years of the WCGC finals
Judge, part of Thailand’s winning team, said, “This has been a truly unbelievable experience. We never thought after being eight shots behind after day one we would be WCGC Champions. Chris Watson our licensee jokingly this morning said ‘go out there and get 80 points and we might win it’.”
Judge went on to say, “ I have to thank Fore Management and Chris Watson the Thailand Licensee for giving us this opportunity, also Blue Horizon Developments our main sponsor and Thai airways for flying us here all the way from Thailand.”
Commenting on the success of the event, José Guerra, chairman of the WCGC, said: “We are delighted to bring the World Final to the spectacular coast of Lisbon and in particular to Cascais which offers beaches, quaint villages and pristine forests.
“Cascais and Estoril are must-see destinations for any visitor to Portugal.
“Some of the best golf courses in Europe are located here, including the headquarters of this year’s World Final, Oitavos Dunes links, considered one of the top 100 courses in the world, voted #58 in the world in 2015 by Golf Magazine. The golf course offers a true ‘professional’ golf tournament experience to all of our competitors and guests.”