Italian Maccario comfortable in windy conditions
For the 120 players competing in the Red Sea Little Venice Open, the hardest opponent to beat was the wind today on Sokhna Golf Courses A+B, where gusts of 35 km/h were blowing while average scores were rising more and more. But this seemed not to bother Italian Federico Maccario, who added a 68 to yesterday’s 69 and is comfortably leading the field at minus 7, with a three strokes advantage over Englishman Jack Clarkson with just one round to go.
Maccario, 24, returned the best card of the day in spite of a double bogey on hole 2 (his 10th) – thanks to a fire start with six birdies and a single bogey in the first eight holes, then another birdie on the 8 (a par-five). Hole number 2, a par-4 of 394 metres, was actually rated as the most difficult hole of the day, according to statistics which indicate an average result of 4.47 strokes.
« I knew it would have been a difficult day today, I had seen the weather forecasts so I knew the wind would blow strong and from a different direction than yesterday », said Maccario, who has returned to Alps Tour after gaining his card for the Challenge Tour at the end of 2016. « Some pin positions were quite hard, too, but I’ve started very well from hole 11 with 6 birdies – I also holed an approach shot and a long putt – and then in the front nine, into the wind, I could manage to play well and keep my concentration, with a consistent game. I’m quite satisfied of the job I’ve done during the winter with my coach Massimo Scarpa, after a difficult year I’m starting to see some good results ».
On third position, four players of four different nationalities are tied at 141 (-3) : they are Felix Schulz from Austria, Ben Wheeler from England, Tomas Santos Silva from Portugal and Mathias Eggenberger from Switzerland. First-round leader Enrico Di Nitto dropped in 7th place with a 77 today, tied with Lars Keunen from The Netherlands and Timon Baltl from Austria.
Italian Carlo Casalegno holed-in-one par-3 n. 6 with a 8-iron from 167 metres; it was the third hole in one recorded since the beginning of the 2019 Alps Tour season.
The cut fell at 148 (+4), leaving 50 players (49 pros and one amateur, Frenchman Thomas Le Berre) in competition for the third and final round, starting tomorrow at 7 am. The winner will pocket a cheque of 5,800 euros out of a 40,000 euros total prize money.