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Top mixed pairs event to return to Donnafugata in 2014

Organisers of the inaugural Sicilian Sizzler Mixed Pairs Tournament have given an overwhelming seal of approval to the five-star Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa after its debut at the award-winning venue this autumn – and revealed that plans are already in place to return there next year.

Amateur golfers from across the UK and Ireland were joined at the deluxe resort by players from as far afield as America for last month’s event, which was organised by bespoke UK golf tour operator Golf Par Excellence.

As well as taking part in a 54-hole Stableford tournament on Donnafugata’s two championship courses, the Links and Parkland – venue for the 2011 Sicilian Open – the pairs enjoyed some of the other outstanding facilities that has helped the resort become one of the most-talked about new golfing venues in Europe.

In addition to being treated an array of mouth-watering culinary delights, the six-day event also offered competitors the opportunity to explore some of the historic sights of Sicily – the largest island in the Mediterranean.

Cardiff couple Leighton and Thelma Davies emerged victorious on the golf course, taking top honours ahead of Hampshire pair Rod and Carole Matthews, from Liphook – and such was the tournament’s success that it has already been scheduled to return to the resort next autumn, with dates to be confirmed soon.

James O’Sullivan, owner of Golf Par Excellence, said: "The tournament was a great success. It exceeded all our expectations and really lived up to its ‘Sicilian Sizzler’ title with temperatures in the eighties all week.

“Competitors found the courses a good test, especially in a testing breeze on the more open Links Course, and the hotel provided one of the best prize-giving dinners I have seen at any of our tournaments, with some fine Sicilian wines to match.

“The players also took full advantage of the chance to explore the local area and many friendships were formed over the six days.

“It was a pleasure working with Donnafugata throughout. Everyone at the resort contributed fully to what was a great and memorable week and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event.”

After hosting the 2011 Sicilian Open, Donnafugata has enjoyed an outstanding period of success including becoming the first course in Italy to join IMG Prestige, an exclusive collection of some of the world’s most celebrated golfing venues, and seeing both its layouts named in Golf World’s latest biennial list of the ‘Top 200 Courses in Continental Europe’.

As well as two 18-hole championship courses, the resort boasts extensive practice facilities including a 70-bay driving range. One of the two courses is a Gary Player signature and the second 18 holes – The Links – was designed by Franco Piras.

Located just 20 minutes away from the recently-opened Comiso airport and in the beautiful area of Donnafugata, a natural reserve and famous tourist destination known for the imposing castle which bears the same name, the resort also boasts a number of fantastic historical cities nearby. These include Val di Noto, the heart of Sicilian baroque: Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Noto and Scicli. All of them are deemed fitting of UNESCO World Heritage status.

Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa has 202 rooms, an award-winning spa and health club, swimming pools and three restaurants offering a broad selection of gastronomic delights, well accompanied by perfect Sicilian wines to enhance flavour.

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