Southwest Section PGA Beats PGA Mexico in Historic “Uniting Nations Cup” 56-44

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Inaugural tournament by Vidanta Golf kicks off a new tradition that aims to build comraderie for both nations

"The most important thing was that golf brought the two countries together and so many new friendships were formed."

Vidanta Golf, the largest golf course operator in Mexico and subsidiary of Grupo Vidanta, announces the results of the first ever international golf tournament between Mexico and the United States. The Uniting Nations Cup tournament resulted in the U.S. team emerging with a 56-44 win.

The tournament debuted May 12 -15, 2011 at the Peninsula de Cortez golf course, a Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus II co-design at the Mayan Palace resort in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico, and featured a Ryder Cup format.

The U.S. team was captained by Scottsdale’s Vito Berlingeri, who was also the tournament director along with Andrew Gilchrist of the Peninsula De Cortes Golf Course. “The event exceeded our expectations,” Berlingeri said. “All of the matches were very close and our amateurs played their hearts out. We won the overall matches in terms of points, but the most important thing was that golf brought the two countries together and so many new friendships were formed. There were a lot of emotional moments.”

The 10 professionals from PGA Mexico beat their US counterparts all three days for a total of 13 1/2 points to 6 1/2; however, the US amateurs dominated their matches for a combined score of 56 points vs 44 overall points for Team Mexico, making the US Team outright winners of the cup.

The objective of the Uniting Nations Cup was to promote friendship, commercial and cultural relations between the two countries. “We utilized golf as an ambassador,” Berlingeri said. “What developed was way beyond our expectations. Golf brought the two countries together.”
Ten Southwest Section PGA Professionals competed against 10 Mexican PGA Professionals, along with 40 amateurs selected by the golf organizations of both countries.

Berlingeri said the Inaugural Uniting Nations Cup will promote goodwill between the two countries for a long time. “We will make this an annual event and utilize the game of golf to continue to strengthen our relationships,” he said. “We expect it to be bigger and better next year.” The Uniting Nations Cup is scheduled to take place annually at the Mayan Palace for the next five years.

Among the PGA Professionals the SWSPGA invited were Don Yrene, director of golf at The Golf Club Scottsdale and five-time Southwest Section PGA Player of the Year, Brandon Smith, head golf professional at Ventana Canyon Golf & Racquet Club in Tucson. Mike Wright, former president of the Southwest Section PGA and director of instruction at Superstition Springs Golf Club in Mesa; Rich Elias, Head Professional Canoa Ranch,; Greg Avant, Director of Golf at Lone Tree Golf Club in Chandler; ; Bob Pancratz, Life Member PGA; Blayne Hobbs, Lead Instructor, Reid/West Golf Academy; Jon Chaffee, Lead Instructor Talking Stick GC, , Jeff Yurkiewicz, Lead Instructor Grayhawk, and Mike Malaska, Director Of Instructor Superstition Mountain.

Guillermo Padres Elias, Governor of Sonora, and Bob Walkup, Mayor of Tucson, attended the opening ceremonies.

The world-class Nicklaus Design golf course at Mayan Palace Puerto Peñasco, in the words of Javier Licea, Executive Director of the PGA in Mexico, “is in excellent condition and is a course that is challenging and ready for the pros to fully enjoy. It is indisputably among the best courses in Mexico, done by the grand designer of golf courses himself, Jack Nicklaus. The course encompasses his trademark style of enhancing the natural environment that is both challenging and enjoyable.”

Learn more about Vidanta Golf at http://www.vidantagolf.com.

About Grupo Vidanta

Founded by Daniel Chavez Moran in 1974, Grupo Vidanta has evolved for more than 35 years into one of Mexico's leading developers of hotels and resorts, golf courses, vacation ownership, and tourism infrastructure, including Mexico's first privately built and owned international airport at Puerto Penasco. For American travelers, Grupo Vidanta offers a choice of full-service luxury beach resorts in Mexico's finest beaches, under the Grand Luxxe, Ocean Breeze, Sea Garden, Mayan Palace and Grand Mayan brands. In the near future, new hospitality brands will include Bliss, Grand Bliss and Mansions of the World. Grupo Vidanta's Mayan Island has built and sold more than 2,000 second homes. For further information see http://www.grupovidanta.com.

About Vidanta Golf

Vidanta Golf is the largest golf course operator in Mexico. Its award winning golf courses are located in the most beautiful beaches of Mexico including: Acapulco, Los Cabos, Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Maya and Puerto Peñasco in Sonora. To learn more about golf with Grupo Vidanta, visit us at http://www.vidantagolf.com.

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