Primera categoría Hombres, 1er. lugar, José Marfil, España.
Primera categoría Hombres, 2do. lugar, Alexei Castellanos, Cuba.
2do. lugar de las damas, Drive más largo y Gross femenino, Annia Blanco, Cuba.

Last October 1-4, professionals and amateurs gathered at the Varadero Golf Club in western Cuba to hold the 14th Golf Tournament for the Day of the Race

The opening day of the 14th Golf Tournament for the Day of the Race boded well as a high-octane event. Across from the Xanadu Mansion, a golf course stands beautifully before the eyes of both fans and the more than 60 contesters from 11 countries, including Cuba.
On October 1-4, professionals and amateurs gathered at the Varadero Golf Club, located in the paradisiacal like-name beach on the Hicacos Peninsula, in western Cuba. Some were coming back while others were simply getting their bin break in the tournament. Boldface names included Gonzaga Escauriaza, president of the Spanish Professional Golf Federation and members of the Professional Golf Association (PGA), with the standout of Rich Beem, winner of the PGA turnament who beat larger-than-life golfer Tiger Woods back in 2002.
During those days at the venue of this event —it’s been organized for over a decade by the Spanish embassy in Cuba— small isolated silhouettes could be made out along the 6,270 meters of greenways stretching between hole 1 and hole 18. Every once in a while, those tiny dots were lifting their clubs to drive a white ball up in the air.
From that perspective, golf seems to be a solitary sport. But watching the athletes going from one hole to the next, also evoked the sport that will be coming back to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year after being scratched from the official schedule a hundred years ago. So, as Mr. Gonzaga Escauriaza told the Excelencias magazine, this event has panned out to be “a friends’ tournament.”
By hosting this golf party, the Spanish organizers have gained prestige, strength and, above all, young players and a bunch of Cuban talented golfers that bear watching, according to Rich Beem. As Mr. Juan Francisco Montalban, Spanish ambassador to Cuba, puts it, “the sport of clubs and tees is getting stronger as a highly potential business activity for sportsmen and tourists”.
Following the competition dates, this latest edition bore out the excellent sportsmanship of the national players, who eventually took home the lion’s share of prizes. Even though seasoned golfer Jose Luis Marfil grabbed the grand prize in the first category, he was dogged by Cuba’s Alexeis Castellanos, Idolio Mandez and Daniel Batista in that same order.
Cuba’s Alexander Blanco led the tournament in the second category, followed by Robert Berardgell, Osvaldo Pousada and John Walker.
The top position in the Stableford category for ladies went to Canada’s Lynn Crete. Cuba’s Annia Blanco, one of the tournament’s shoo-ins, finished second, followed closely by Hayme Lopez who nabbed the third place.
Back in the 1999 and 2000 editions, the golf course nestled on the edge of the Xanadu Mansion hosted the grand finale of the European Challenge Tour, in which 15 finalists vied for the Order of Merit of the PGA Europe’s Qualifying Tour. This time around, the 14th Tournament for the Day of the Race shone brightly with champion Beem in attendance, as well as Mr. Escauriaza, the 11th president of the Spanish Professional Golf Federation, and no other than Gary L. Schaal, a living legend of golf, former PGA chief (1993-1994) and a nominee to the Hall of Fame back in 2005
However, the most significant outcome this time up was the opening of a new horizon for Cuba: the motivation to host one of the PGA’s tours, an organization that has committed itself to equipping players and training professors in a bid to crack the game’s elite look. In the same breath, the Spanish Federation —with the help of the country’s diplomatic mission in Cuba— pledged to help found the island nation’s golf association. Those circumstances are dovetailing perfectly into a new framework in which Cuba’s travel industry authorities are reporting the building of other golf courses and venues in coming years.