30th April 2021 | Alps Tour Golf

Stefano Mazzoli Wins in Playoff

April 30th, 2021 – Perugia, Italy. What an incredible final round that saw a play-off with five players at -9 (204). Stefano Mazzoli sealed victory on the first hole of the play-off with a birdie on the 18th whilst his competitors carded pars.

The Italian, started far from being in contention this morning as he teed off from the 10th at +1 putting him 9 strokes behind the leader. But golf being golf, anything can happen over 18 holes and Mazzoli proved just that. He entered the clubhouse with a 61 (-10) for the day, the record round for the inaugural Antognolla Alps Open:

“It’s something unbelievable to finish this strong after making the cut by one. I feel really happy after a period where things were not really going as I expected. The first lockdown was a really tough period for me to keep my mind going. I did pretty good in Cervino where I finished second but after that I struggled a little bit. I had a wrist problem, so I had to take three months off during the winter and I started the season really badly this year. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been concentrating on my shots off the tee, my range and putting strokes on the green. Today was a good test for me, playing under pressure so I’m really pleased to walk away with a trophy after winning the play-off”.

Mazzoli played a solid outward nine starting from the 10th with 4 birdies and pars to turn for home at -3. He then started as he meant to go on with 2 more birdies and a third one on the 5th. He added an eagle on the 6th uphill par 5 and the cherry on the cake, a birdie on the par 5 17th.

The other four players in the play-off were two of Mazzoli’s compatriots, Stefano Pitoni and Filippo Bergamaschi, the Irish player, Paul McBride and Alex Esmatges from Spain who provided some heart-stopping moments during their rounds.

Yesterday’s leader, Pitoni, held onto the lead on the front nine with 3 birdies but two bogeys on the back nine and a dearth of birdies put him in the play-off.

Bergamaschi also had a strong start with 5 birdies going out to put him at -10 on the 10th tee. A bogey there dropped him back a shot which he recovered on the 16th with a birdie but a final bogey on the 18th saw victory slip through his fingers.

McBride, off the 1st at -3 this morning had an impeccable round up to the 12th with 7 birdies in the bag. Despite a closing birdie on the 18th, the 2 bogeys on the 13th and 14th cost him dearly.

Esmatges, starting on -4, had a majestic round with 8 birdies leaving the 16th green. A sole bogey on the 17th would not have been fatal but the double bogey on the 18th proved his undoing.

Mazzoli’s win catapults him up the Order Merit from 68th to 5th position but the leader remains Jacopo Vecchi Fossa who finished joint 6th today.

The Alps Tour players now have a four-week break before heading to Egypt and the Sokhna Golf Club where they will play two tournaments. First off is the Ein Bay Open, 19th-21st May and then the Red Sea Little Venice Open 23rd-25th May which Stefano Mazzoli won in 2020 and where we are sure he would like nothing better than a repeat success this year.

Many thanks to the Antognolla Golf for their warm welcome and superb course as well as the presenting sponsor +Energia, main sponsors DS Automobiles and Fideuram, the promotor Infront Sports & Media, FIG Official Advisor, official suppliers, Kappa and Eureco, media partners Corriere dello Sport, Il Giornale, Tuttosport and the Italian Golf Federation.

Final Results: click here

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29th April 2021 | Alps Tour Golf

Stefano Pitoni Pulls Ahead Round 2

April 29th, 2021 – Perugia, Italy. The Italian player, Stefano Pitoni managed to pull ahead to take sole lead today at the Antognolla Alps Open on -8 (134). He had a flawless round with ne’er a bogey in sight but a little short on birdies to give him a more comfortable margin, three on the front nine:

“I was very good from tee to green and hit 18 greens in regulation. I had many putts for birdie, but I was not as good as yesterday on the greens. I tend to play defensively to try to hit the fairways because I’m not very long. On this course it helps to be strong because many bunkers have been put around 250 metres and to fly them you need to go long, and as I cannot do it, I need to hit straight! Tomorrow I will think shot by shot, not looking at the leader board and try to stay as calm as possible”.

Yesterday’s joint leader, Spanish amateur Joel Moscatel, battled all the way to keep in contention. Off from the 1st he carded a birdie followed by a bogey, got back in the swing with another birdie, turning for home at -6 after one more birdie and a bogey. Two opening birdies on the back nine put him even with the leader but a bogey on the 13th with its tricky two-level green set him back a shot. His next six holes were error-free, but he did not manage to pull another birdie out of the bag to level and finished on -7 (135).

In third place on -6 (136), Jacopo Vecchi Fossa continued his recent form. The Italian was in the same flight as Moscatel and had an inauspicious start with a bogey on the 1st. He quickly demonstrated his focus by a birdie immediately afterwards, then two more to turn for home at -4. His game kept flowing with 3 more birdies until he ran into trouble on the 14th and 15th where he bogeyed both but scraped a point back with a birdie on the 17th.

Filippo Bergamaschi from Italy lies in fourth on -5 (137) and had a front nine with all the colours of the scoring rainbow; 1 eagle, 3 birdies, 3 bogeys, 2 pars. He headed for home on -4, sank a birdie on the 14th, lost the advantage with a bogey on the 16th but finished the round with a birdie on the 18th.

At -4 (138) are David Ravetto from France and Alex Esmatges from Spain. The Spaniard was one of only two today to card a 65 (-6), the lowest daily round score for the tournament so far, Pierre Pineau from France on -3 (139) being the other player.

Similar statistics to yesterday with 29 players breaking par, 10 coming in at par and 6 eagles on the Antognolla Golf course. The cut came at 143 (+1) with 45 pros and 6 amateurs making it through to tomorrow’s final.

The weather forecast for the final day looks promising with no rain, mild conditions if a little overcast. It just remains to see if Stefano Pitoni can keep his head and stay ahead to claim his first victory on the Alps Tour since 2016.

Results Round 2: click here

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28th April 2021 | Alps Tour Golf

Moscatel & Pitoni Joint Leaders Round 1

April 28th, 2021 – Perugia, Italy. After battling the climatic odds and a challenging course, a Spanish-Italian duo, Joel Moscatel and Stefano Pitoni head the leader board on -5 (66) after the first round of the Antognolla Alps Open.

Leader after the morning rounds was Joel Moscatel from Spain with a three-stroke lead at this point:

“I played great today. It was tough at the beginning because of the weather with the rain plus it’s a tricky course. The greens are really difficult. You need to put the ball in the right spot every time. On the front nine I made the first bogey then I started making putts. My wedges were really good today, so I started making birdies. Then on the second nine I didn’t make that many birdies, but I can’t complain because I played them super well so I’m happy”.

Starting from the 10th, the Spanish amateur’s only bogey came on the uphill par 4 14th quickly followed by 4 birdies in a row then 2 more birdies on the back nine.

Stefano Pitoni, an experienced Alps Tour player having won three tournaments in 2016, headed out in the afternoon also from the 10th. He said that the key to his game today was his excellent short game, especially his putting as he sank some long ones. The 7 birdies on his card bear witness, but 2 bogeys on the home nine held him back from the overall lead. He too confirmed that the Antognolla Golf course is very physically demanding and that the rain made the fairway shots particularly difficult.

In third place is Jack Floyd on -3 (68). The Englishman teed off from the 1st in the afternoon and had an unfortunate double bogey on the par 3 3rd caught by the large greenside bunker. However, he got back into gear immediately with a birdie, par and 4 birdies to finish the front nine on 33 (-3). He continued with 2 more birdies coming home but he too saw 2 bogeys snatch a joint lead away.

We then have quite a traffic jam at -2 (69) with a group of 14 players including Jacopo Vecchi Fossa, winner of last week’s Abruzzo Alps Open and Ryan Lumsden, winner of the MIRA Golf Experience Acaya Open last month. Alps Tour tournament winners and former European Tour players, Matteo Manassero and Edouard Espana are there aswell. Two more former champs from Italy, Luca Cianchetti and Andrea Saracino are sitting pretty too. Tom Vaillant the French amateur who had an excellent fourth place finish at the weekend continues to hold his own against the pros.

The difficult playing conditions are supported by the statistics with only 28 players coming in under par, 8 players on par and just 5 eagles out there today. Things do not look set to improve drastically with more rain forecast overnight and tomorrow. The players are going to need resilience and focus to make their mark when they tee off at 7:30am.

Results Round 1: click here

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25th April 2021 | Alps Tour Golf

Antognolla Alps Open Inaugural Tournament

April 25th, 2021 – Perugia, Italy. The fourth tournament of the 2021 Alps Tour season will take place here at the stunning Antognolla Golf. This is the first time that the Umbrian course has hosted the Alps Tour and the unique setting, nestled in a valley with cliff-lined fairways, overlooked by the Antognolla castle dominating the first and last greens, the eighteen-holes promises some memorable shots for the players.

The Robert Trent Jones Jr designed course originally opened in 1998. In 2018 he oversaw a multi-million remodelling that remains true to his philosophy of building courses that commune with their environment. A modern, computer-controlled irrigation system was introduced; a new network of drainage pipes whose water is recycled was installed; all the bunkers were completely redesigned and rebuilt.

For the players, they now face a par 71 championship course whose 6884 yds/6112 m will relentlessly challenge all aspects of their game. Whilst water only comes into play on three holes, the fairways are long, banked and sloping with hidden hazards from the tee box. The greens are undulating, often on two or even three levels, sometimes elevated but always heavily guarded by bunkers. The key to managing the course is distance control.

All three of our previous 2021 tournament winners report present; Abruzzo Alps Open champ, Jacopo Vecchi Fossa who will be hoping to continue his April run of victories in his native Italy; Paul Margolis, the French amateur, who would love to continue his run of firsts after his first pro tournament win at the MIRA Live the Soul Open and his first hole-in-one last week; the Scottish player, Ryan Lumsden who with his MIRA Golf Experience Acaya Open victory would not mind getting another title under his belt.

But as we have seen, the competition is tough this season. Jacopo Vecchi Fossa’s win last week by 3 strokes was the highest difference so far. The previous two tournaments were won by just one stroke with the top five players jostling for position down to the line each time.

Alongside the pros, the amateurs hope to continue to hone their skills, among them Tom Vaillant from France, Joel Moscatel Nachshon from Spain, joint fourth last week and the Italian, Gregorio De Leo. It is also good to see Zeke Martinez back with us. The American member on the European Senior Tour may even have some home knowledge advantage as an Umbrian resident of ten years.

One thing that could make a difference is the weather. Light rain and showers are forecast each morning with possible thunderstorms in the afternoon and slight but variable winds. Just another element to factor into an already imposing test of golf.

Entries: click here

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