ISABELA, Puerto Rico -- In the tradition of the golf's great team matches—the Ryder Cup, Presidents' Cup, Walker Cup, Curtis Cup, and others—Royal Isabela, the world-class golf and private membership club high on the cliffs of northwest Puerto Rico, now has a team competition all its own: The Pasarell Cup.
The inaugural staging of The Pasarell Cup was held April 26-28, 2013.
Started by Charlie and Stanley Pasarell, who created the Royal Isabela community and designed the award-winning Links at Royal Isabela golf course with architect David W. Pfaff, the Pasarell Cup pits two 12-person teams for two days in the spirit of those "other" cup matches.
The teams—captained by the two brothers, former world-ranked tennis champions who have been as competitive as brothers can be all their lives—went at it for three rounds. On Saturday, April 27, the morning featured six best-ball matches between two-person teams. On Saturday afternoon, the format switched to alternate shot for six two-man teams. Sunday's finals were singles matches involving all 24 players.
"This event is the perfect tribute to our father," said Stanley Pasarell. "His love of competition and sports is so keen, we are sure he would applaud our efforts to create something that brings together good friends for a spirited match while also showcasing our homeland. The Pasarell Cup is named after him, not us."
Because the Links at Royal Isabela has 21 holes, the course could be varied from round to round. Furthermore, hole number 6, called "Fork In The Road," can be played as either a par four or par five and there are two par-three 11th holes. Utilizing many of these options, the first round was played at par 72; the second round at par 73; and the final round allowed the team in the lead to select how each hole was played.
Team Charlie won the Pasarell Cup by a score of 13-11. Stanley has sworn to exact his revenge next year.
Unlike many of the world-famous courses that have hosted those other cup matches, the Links at Royal Isabela welcomes visitors. Opened in 2011, the course was named one of Golf Magazine's top courses to watch and "Best of the Best" by Robb Report. Other amenities within the 426-acre community include La Casa restaurant, the outdoor Croquet Bar overlooking the 18th hole, a tennis center, and 20 beautifully designed one-bedroom casitas.
The Pasarells also established the El Pastillo Conservation Trust to preserve El Pastillo Beach, the surrounding cliffs, and the other environmentally diverse elements along this corner of Puerto Rico. The trust oversees an on-property nursery for trees, flowers, and golf turfgrass, and an organic farm that employs homeless men with disabilities.
For more information on Royal Isabela and upcoming events, including the 2014 Pasarell Cup, contact (787) 609-5888. For more information on Royal Isabela, access the web site at www.royalisabela.com.
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