This is Tiagos Golf Story
When I came to Portugal I did not know anything about Golf, the hotel I opened had a Golf Pro (Fernando Nogueira) and he said to me to try it. Well I did and got hooked to the sport even so for him was the hardest job in his life to teach an IT guy to play Golf. Then I meet Tiago and Ana and we became a family. As I always drove of Saturday mornings for lessons one day Tiago asked, hey can I join you and I said of course. For him this sport was love on the first sight, his eyes lightened up when he went to practice. So with 7 years he started this great sport. He worked so hard that soon he was able to play junior tournaments. As we all know there good and bad days and in the beginning more of the bad, but then his game develop was going in the right direction, and he started to win some tournaments and get some prices, I had the proudest kid on my drives home from all these events and would not have missed one minute we spent together the 2 of us. After 4 years he came to a point where he did not like the way he was treated by his coach and quite the sport he loved. As parent I felt he loves it and saw how sad he was to stop it, I know he went in the garage every time to get his club and try to swing them. When I left to practice I could see he would love to join. Then came the day he came to his Mum and me and said I miss this sport so much and would love to try it somewhere else. I told him Quinta Do Lago has a new junior program and he talked to them and they would be happy to give him a shot to try if he feels to play again.
So off we went on a Saturday morning he and me, he went for the group lesson and me hitting from the other side watching. When he came back after an hour he started talking and was so happy he was hooked again to this sport. From then on he went every Saturday for the group lessons and during the week after school as much as possible to practice. After a short while he game got much better and the 2 of us drove again to the competitions in the Algarve nearly every weekend. For him the Golf Virus had fully impacted him again and he dedicated as much time as he could to play the sport he loved. We could not have been prouder on this young man that worked so hard for his goals, yes there have been bad days but he took the positive out of it. He was willing to learn and improve this humble son of us it was just amazing from a parent point of view. When he was 16 he came to us and said I haver a dream I want to play collage golf in the USA and go to the University, we sat with him and the only thing we said was, you have our full support live your dream and we help you in any way possible to achieve your dream. I have never seen after that day a kid working harder to achieve his dream, he put so many hours in to get to his goal. Sometimes 4 – 5 hours after school. Then Covid came and we went in lockdown, but Tiago did not gave up, he made himself a practice field in the garage so he could practice there every day. Upstairs you could hear bang, bang of him hitting balls. Then his school came nearly to an end and we need to look for him to get a place and he got a spot at USW to fulfil his dream of playing golf. When all was clear he went off and started the journey which ended to early as this wonderful son of us was taken from this plant.
One of the persons that influenced his decision to play College golf was Paul McGinley, he had the pleasure to talk with him, when Paul was holding his Paul McGinley Cup in Quinta Do Lago, he told him about his time over in the USA and College time, Tiago cherished the talks even so they were short with him. But the way Paul motivates these kids is amazing. Now we are in the lucky position that Paul is one of our main supports to set up the tournament for Tiago, he was there and I do not know where we would be without this amazing man and his support. We will be thankful for the time he spent with Tiago and the help and support we get from him to set up this event