30th April 2015 | Alps Tour Golf
Loughrey two clear in Tunisia
England’s Josh Loughrey signed from brilliant 6 under par card and was surprised to lead the opening round of inaugural Tunisian Golf Open on El Kantaoui Golf Course.
Loughrey, 24 years old, had a day like in a dream. It did not realise that a big part of the field was struggling to score under par.
“I tough it would be better scoring, I didn’t think I would be leading, I am surprised I am leading. I had 4 birdies to finish. I started really good. I hit really close on two. My first shot on the third hole, par 3 It has gone right down the flag and it bounced straight left and I did not know what it had hit. It hit the side of the hole and went straight left. So I was inches away from a hole in one. And I holed a 15 foot putt for par and that kept me going.
I should have holed more putts, I should have been more under but I am happy with 6. It was quite an easy day for me, I hit really close to the holes a lot. I hit fairways, didn’t putt myself in any trouble, made one bogey on that silly sixth hole but apart from that it seemed easy out there.”
A group of 4 players lead for a while with -4, Italy’s Giacomo Tonelli, England’s Matt Wallace, Ireland Brendan McCarroll and France’s Matthieu Pavon.
Pavon was not smiling finishing his round today. He stayed short with his last putt and then dropped a shot.
“It was a little windy today, I started on the 1st hole so my front nine were the most difficult but I handled this quite well. I hit the fairways and I aimed the middle of the greens to be safe. On a par 5, I took my chance and I holed for birdie, so I turned -1 then on front nine we got lucky because it was not that windy so I could be more aggressive. I scored -3 on back nine which is a good score but it could have been better because I stayed short a few time.”
It has been a while since Italy’s scored a decent round. He confessed he used to struggled with his driver last season and that he is now happy to be more accurate.
“I played well the par 5 but all in all, I had an easy day despite the wind. I am training now with national coach Massimo Scarpa and what we are trying to do it to keep things simple and it is working.”
Matt Wallace, 25 years old, is playing his third season of the Alps Tour and the young player from London has one third place and two 4th places as best results.
“I did quite well on the par 5s. A couple of them were played into wind today. Especially the 9th wasn’t reachable for me but I made a nice putt there from about 30 feet for birdie and I kept my momentum going for the back nine. I left a few putts short today in the middle of the hole because the greens are quite slow which is a bit of a shame. I am happy with the start.”
“It is my third year on the Alps Tour and I feel very comfortable now but I want to get out as fast as possible.”
“There are some really good players out there. All I can take care of is myself but my game has improved massively since being here. I knew what I had to do and I have been practicing really hard with my new coach, Hugh Marr, and it’s going in the right direction.”
From El Kantaoui