Seven years after sarcoma cancer cut short the promising career of Marcia Garcia Estrada, 40 teams of golfers gathered at Abama Golf Resort, Tenerife to raise 95,000 euros for continued research through the foundation set up to honour the Santa Cruz born player. On 14 January the teams of three amateurs with one professional played golf battled it out before pro star Miguel Angel Martin and his team, Justo del Castillo, Juan Manuel RodrÃguez and Luis Bunueri emerged victorious.
The Marcia Garcia Estrada Pro Am is more about the competing than the overall result, and raising awareness of this aggressive form of cancer that killed Maria in September 2005. It was a gripping finale to the action as the winners shared a score of 53 strokes with teams led by Paula MartÃ, José MarÃa Cañizares and Josh Jenkins from North America. All the players and spectators that headed to the west coast course in Guia de Isora enjoyed the day and the boost it gave the foundation.
The on course play was backed by some sterling fund raising efforts and star-studded contributions before the tournament, resulting in a pre-match balance of 21,250 euros. A special auction featured a team shirt and ball from Spain’s World Cup winning football team which alone raised an amazing 7,500 euros. Other big names were also generous with unique offers; Rafa Nadal gave up a pair of his tennis shoes signed by footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and basketball player Pau Gasol, tempting a bidder to part with 4,000 euros. There was also a bag of 14 golf balls from Pablo Larrazábal and VIP tickets to a Grand Prix.
The search for answers to beating sarcoma cancer is not publicly funded and relies on the generosity and dedication of organisations such as the Maria Garcia Estrada Foundation. Thankfully in Tenerife there are plenty of major companies willing to support the Pro Am tournament. This year the organisers were very grateful to Abama Golf Resort, Turismo de Tenerife, Gobierno de Canarias, Ayuntamiento de Guia de Isora and DISA.