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Published on : Thursday, October 27, 2016
The big-hitting American, who has two Major titles to his name, was the star attraction at the recent Beko Classic Pro-Am at Gloria Golf Club – a tournament he won in 2014.
The 50-year-old has enjoyed a colourful career boasting 20 professional wins, including his shock US PGA success in 1991 and the 1995 Open Championship glory at St Andrews.
And although he was in the hunt for the top prize again with rounds of 72, 66 and 70 for an eight-under-par total, it was only good enough for a tie for the runners-up place as Englishman Robert Coles turned in a fine display to take the title by four strokes.
Scotsman Graham Fox, who fired a hole-in-one in his first round on the 17th hole on the New Course, also finished at eight under par.
Daly had made a previous pledge to return to play in the event but has become a regular visitor to Gloria in recent years. He was true to his word as he unleashed some trademark booming drives and was full of praise for the resort and tournament.
He said: “As always with the last five or six years since I’ve been coming here, it’s a class act.
“The course was in great condition and all the amateurs and pros loved it and that’s what it’s all about. They put on a great tournament and you just can’t go wrong here. I’ve always enjoyed coming here and every time I come, I never want to leave.”
Coles, who made it a hat-trick of titles in the Beko Classic Pro-Am after previous victories in 2009 and 2013, started the final day with a four-shot lead after a dazzling eight-under-par 64 in round two. But despite a shaky start to the round, he recovered well to seal the honours.
He said: “I’ve had a great week. I got off to a reasonable start and had a great day on the second day and then scrambled through the final day. But I love coming out here.”
The professional golfers were not the only sporting celebrities on show, as former England football captain David Platt was also in the amateur field – even taking the time to show some of his old prowess with a ball at his feet.
But his team were beaten to the top prize by Opet2 as amateurs Huseyin Demirag, Nida Cireli and Richard Ozatacan took the crown. They were joined in round three by England’s Jamie Moul, having also been helped along by Liam Bond and Jamie Little in the previous rounds.
Gloria’s director of golf, David Clare, said: “It was a fantastic event. All of the pros loved the course and the hotel. Big JD was in awesome form, which was great to see. It was an honour to host the tournament again.”
Situated 40 minutes from Antalya International Airport, the stunning luxury resort celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017 and offers a wide range of accommodation with three luxurious and stylish five-star resorts on the beach: Gloria Golf Resort, Gloria Verde Resort and Gloria Serenity Resort.
Featuring 45 holes, it is the biggest golf complex in Turkey with its comprehensive golf facilities including two 18-hole championship layouts, a nine-hole course and outstanding academy and driving range.
In addition, the Gloria Sports Arena – built over an area of 105,000m2 – offers state-of-the-art facilities for more than 50 indoor, outdoor and aquatic sports.
The resort will also host further top events in 2017. The PGAs of Europe Annual Congress & International Team Championship will be hosted from January 16-21, 2017.
Gloria will then stage the Turkish Airlines European Challenge Tour event for a third straight year from April 24-30, 2017. From May 13-20, 2017, the Nuri Ozaltin Gloria Centenary Pro Am 20 Year Celebration Pro-Am takes place with 50 teams from all over Europe, featuring top European pros.
It promises to be a busy calendar in 2017 with the return of David Edwards’ New Year Golf Trick Show (January 1, 2017) and the Gloria 20 Year Anniversary Tournament (February 11-18, 2017).