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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14th November 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Qualifying School 2020 – All Set For The Final Stage

November 14th, 2020 – Rome, Italy – With the play-offs of the First Stage completed yesterday, the 144 players in the Final Stage of the Alps Tour Qualifying School 2020 are registered. And we can look forward to some great golf given the players in the field.

Notably, among the 42 amateurs, there is David Ravetto from France currently 23rd on the WAGR who raised the Brabazon Trophy in August of this year by winning the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

From Spain, there is Eduard Rousaud ranked 4th on the WAGR who became only the fifth ever Spanish player to play a Major as an amateur when he participated in the US Open in September 2020. Just last week he finished joint fifth at the Andalucía Challenge de España, the only amateur to make the cut at the Challenge Tour event.

The Portuguese amateur, Pedro Lencart E Silva, recently distinguished himself with a win at the Portuguese Federation Cup last month.

Another rising French amateur is Charles Larcelet winner of the 2019 French Men’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship (Murat Cup) who also did himself proud at the 2019 Amundi Open de France by making the cut.

And within the home-grown amateurs, two Italians to watch, Gregorio De Leo and Davide Buchi have already participated in three Alps Tour events this year with their best results at the Cervino Open, 6th and 17th respectively. Plus, of course, Alessandro Radig who was second in the First Stage on the Golf Club Parco de’ Medici course.

Several former, top, amateurs, recently turned pro, join the qualifiers. Matyas Zapletal from the Czech Republic won what is considered the pinnacle of amateur golf competitions in his home country with victory at the Czech International Amateur Championship in August.

Conor Purcell from Ireland, a former Walker Cup player, won the Irish Golfer Shootout this July, staged at the K Club in Ireland, site of the 2006 Ryder Cup.

The Dutch player, Koen Kouwenaar, and the Belgian player, Alan De Bondt both had wins in 2019, one at the Dutch National Open Championship and the other at the King’s Prize.

There are also a number of previous Alps Tour tournament winners lined up. From the 2018 season we have the English player, Marcus MohrOpen St Francois Region Guadeloupe, and from Italy, Michele CeaEin Bay Open. Frenchman, Franck Daux, was a two-time winner in 2016 at the Ein Bay Open and Red Sea Little Venice Open. Whilst, in 2011, the Italian, Cristiano Terragni won the Feudo di Asti Open.

The Final Qualifying Stage is scheduled to be played over 54 holes. The players will play two rounds, one each on the Golf Nazionale and Terre dei Consoli Golf Club courses.

After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the leading 65 players and those players tied on the final qualifying place score, who will then play one further round on the Golf Nazionale golf course.

At the conclusion of the 54 holes, the leading 35 players (and those players tied on the final qualifying place score) will be ranked according to score.  Players holding these positions will be eligible for membership in Category 6 of the Alps Tour for the 2021 season.

Players making the cut of the Final Qualifying Stage and finishing between the 36th and the 65th position will be eligible for membership in Category 8 of the Alps Tour for the 2021 season.

Players between the 66th and the 144th position will be eligible for membership in Category 9 of the Alps Tour for the 2021 season.

Official practice rounds start tomorrow with the weather threatening some heavy showers over the next two days. Hopefully, things should improve on Tuesday with the sun returning and gentle breezes.

Entries Final Stage: click here

 

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26th October 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Italy Alps Open Draws the 2020 Season to an End

October 26th, 2020 – Rome, Italy – The ninth and final tournament of the Alps Tour 2020 season is due to start in two days, here at the Italian Golf Federation course, the Golf Nazionale. And it is going to be a battle of titans  to secure one of the three available places on the Challenge Tour next season.

All ten of the top players on this year’s Order of Merit will be on the starting blocks. The leader, Jordi Garcia Del Moral, with a win at the Cervino Open and four other top ten finishes this season will be looking to keep his number one position. However, his four Spanish compatriots in the top ten will be giving him a run for his money: Lucas Vacarisas, Alps de Andalucia Open victor, in second place, Angel Hidalgo Portillo in sixth, Jacobo Pastor fresh from his first international victory at Alps de Las Castillas Open in eighth and Alejandro Del Rey in ninth, winner of the Open de la Mirabelle d’Or.

Needless to say, the Italian field will be out in force too. Third on the OofM, Stefano Mazzoli, winner of the Red Sea Little Venice Open this year, joins thirty-one players looking for a home win. Notably, last year’s winner, Enrico Di Nitto, who finished second on the OofM 2019 qualifying him for the Challenge Tour in 2020 alongside another strong contender, Edoardo Lipparelli, winner of last year’s OofM.

But two more top ten 2020 OofM players are sure to be ready to go down to the line. Lars Keunen from the Netherlands with a win at the Ein Bay Open and two more top ten finishes this year and the experienced Alps Tour player, Englishman Sam Robinson, looking for his elusive first victory. Fifth and fourth respectively on the OofM, they have everything to play for. Just like the French rookie, Jeong Weon Ko from France, currently sitting seventh.

This is the second time that the Golf Nazionale has hosted the tournament and the 84 players, 73 professionals and 11 amateurs, should start the tournament with sunny weather, pleasant temperatures in the afternoon if a little nippy in the morning, and not too much wind. However, they still have to face a course considered to be one of the most challenging in Italy. Let’s hope they can still take the time to savour the beautiful Lazio countryside vistas and the distant Cimini mountains on the horizon.

Entries click here.

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30th September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Thomas Elissalde Two Shots Ahead Day 1

Salamanca, (Spain), 30th September 2020 – A great birthday present for Thomas Elissalde as he tops the leader board after the first eighteen holes of the Alps de las Castillas here at Salamanca Golf & CC – Zarapicos. The French player, who turned 28 yesterday, entered the clubhouse as leader after his morning round at -8 (64). He previously won the tournament in 2018, albeit on a different course.

« A great day. Not a single bogey. I teed off well, putted well, made certain shots, so no complaints, an excellent day. The greens are sloping and fast which I like. You need to be on the fairway for your second shot here, so my good driving was a plus and then get to the green and sink the putt, obviously, it all helped. It’s a good start to the tournament but it’s only the first round so let’s wait and see. The wind is picking up so conditions will be different tomorrow.”

He carded a birdie on the opening holes of both the front and back nines and with three more on each, he came in with a perfectly balanced -4 (32) in and out.

A threesome are two strokes behind him at -6 (66): Tomas Bessa Guimaraes from Portugal, Jacobo Pastor from Spain, and Mathias Eggenberger from Switzerland. Bessa Guimaraes had a flawless, bogey-free front nine and four birdies. With three birdies and a bogey putting him at -6 arriving at the 18th, he parred to just miss moving into second place. Pastor started with a bogey on the 10th but recovered nicely with four birdies on the first nine. He opened the incoming nine with a magnificent eagle on the par 4 neatly avoiding the countless bunkers on the fairway and around the green. He completed the round with two birdies and just one more bogey. Eggenberger started on the 1st in style with three birdies in a row. He threw in two more for good measure but a bogey on the 9th reined him in. Three more birdies and another bogey on the back to be comfortably placed for tomorrow.

A group of five players are sitting at -5 (67) including last week’s winner of the Alps de Andalucia, the Spanish player, Lucas Vacarisas with seven birdies and two bogeys. Michele Ortalani from Italy holed five birdies on the front nine and two more on the back nine before two bogeys saw him drop back. Lars Keunen from the Netherlands, this year’s Ein Bay Open winner, had all pars and a birdie going out. Started heading home with two more birdies, wobbled with a bogey, sprang back with a birdie then an eagle, another bogey and finished with a birdie. Two rookies make up the count, Ryan Lumsden from Scotland and Alexander Kopp from Austria who have both had two top ten finishes this season and who each carded six birdies and one bogey.

Making up the top ten at -4 (68) is Jeong Weon Ko the rookie from France with three top ten places under his belt so far and an eagle, five birdies and three bogeys today.

The weather forecast is for a sunny day again tomorrow but not quite as warm as today with strong wind gusts. Play commences at 9:00 am from the 1st and 10th tees with today’s leader, Thomas Elissalde off at 2:14 pm.

The Alps de la Castillas enjoys the support of Federación de Golf de Castilla-Leon, Federación de Golf de Castilla-La Mancha, Salamanca Golf & CC – Zarapicos, Consejo Superior de Deportes, EDP Solar, Kyocera, Tag Heuer, Bodegas Barbadillo (official wine), Agua En Caja Mejor sostenible, pura y natural, and Jgolf.

 

Results Day 1: click here

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15th September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

A Welcome Return to Tuscany

Grosseto, 15th September 2020 – The Alps Tour last visited the Golf Club Toscana back in 2011 for the Qualifying School so it is with great pleasure that they return here for the sixth tournament of the 2020 season, the Toscana Alps Open.

Located in the region of Maremma in Southern Tuscany, the par 71, 6249yds / 5714m course designed by Keith Preston, opened in 1999. Set amid vineyards, olive groves, parasol pines and Tuscan cypress trees, the course ranks among one of the most attractive in Italy.

The terrain starts off flat but rapidly becomes undulating to hilly. Whilst not overly long, the numerous water hazards that come into play on at least nine holes can be brutal for wayward shots. The greens are large but sloping with multiple breaks and notoriously hard to read. Out of bounds area lie close to some fairways, with bushes, and dense rough to complicate matters further. A technical course that requires accurate play from tee to green and precise putting to score low.

The signature hole is the 18th, a long par 5, 528 yds/483m. The view from the raised tee box provides a breath-taking panorama, looking out over the Tyrrhenian Sea to the islands of Elba and Corsica.

This is what awaits the 125 players teeing off on Friday. Of the 16 nationalities represented, there are 104 professionals and 21 amateurs. All the top ten on the Order of Merit are present including the winners of the previous five tournaments: the Spanish players, Alejandro Del Rey, last week’s winner of the Open de la Mirabelle d’Or and Jordi Garcia Del Moral, victor at the Cervino Open. The Austrian Lukas Nemecz who triumphed on home territory at the Gösser Open and the winners of the Egyptian Series, Stefano Mazzoli from Italy for the Red Sea Little Venice Open and from the Netherlands, Lars Keunen for the Ein Bay Open.

Among the 51 strong Italian field, we notably have the presence of Matteo Manasseo who currently plays on the European Tour. He was the youngest winner of the British Amateur Championship in 2009 and the same year, won the silver medal for best amateur in Open Championship. In April 2010 he became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters Tournament, where he finished in a tie for 36th place – the best performance by a European amateur for 73 years. He turned professional two weeks after his 17th birthday and became the youngest winner in European Tour history with victory in the 2010 Castello Masters. With two more wins at the Maybank Malaysian Open in 2011 and the Barclays Singapore Open in 2012, he became the first teenager to win three times on the European Tour. His fourth win before the age of 20 was at the 2013 BMW PGA Championship.

We also have Emanuele Canonica, a former European Tour player who won the 2005 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. A prodigious long-distance hitter, he also won the European Tour Statistics Driving Distance category three years in a row from 1998 to 2000.

So, an interesting field and the weather looks set to be favourable for the duration of the tournament, promising to be hot and sunny, rising to a maximum temperature of 32°C/90°F. Sunscreen could definitely be a good addition to the bag.

 

Entries: click here

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12th September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Vacarisas and Del Rey Joint Leaders Day 2 Open de la Mirabelle d’Or

Metz, 12th September 2020 – An exiting climax to the second day here at the Golf de la Grange aux Ormes with two Spanish players co-leaders at 128 (-14).

Lucas Vacarisas was first into the club house having teed off in the morning from the tee one. Yesterday’s leader had another good first few holes with three birdies and three pars up to the 6th.

“Today, I started playing very well like yesterday. I’m very calm and I’m playing my golf. I enjoyed the day. The course is good for my game because it requires good tee shots and my drives have been good”.

One bogey on the front nine saw him with a -2 (33). Everything went swimmingly on the back nine with three more birdies and five pars and just one bogey on the 18th for another -2 (34) and a daily total of -4 (67).

Alejandro Del Rey who started the day two shots behind his countryman, teed off in the afternoon from the tenth. As he admitted, it took him time to get into gear:

“Today was a bit different from yesterday. I had to grind around a little bit more. I started really slow and made a couple of mistakes. I didn’t hit the shots close enough so I made just one birdie and one bogey. My short game worked which is what kept me in the round I guess.”

However, things really started looking up on the back nine and right until the 18th he looked poised to take the lead:

“I started the back nine and played really, really, well. I took advantage of the good opportunities on the short holes, made four birdies in a row and an eagle and finished with a pretty good round so I’m happy about it.”

That gave him a superb -6 (29) coming in and -6 (65) for the day and joint first position.

In third place at 133 (-9) is the Italian player Michele Cea, winner of the Ein Bay Open in 2018, he started the day with a bogey-free front nine and a -4 (31) with four birdies. He started the back nine with a bogey on the par five but recovered with two birdies afterwards. Another bogey and a birdie saw him finish at -1 (35) for a daily total of -5 (66), a shot better than yesterday’s round.

My day was really solid. Yesterday I had a solid long game. I didn’t make too many putts. Today I made more putts and was not as good on the long shots but still on the fairway and playable every time, so I had some fun.”

In joint fourth place we have a pool of five players at 134 (-8) among them another Spanish player, Jordi Garcia del Moral, last week’s winner of the Cervino Open. He opened in style with birdie, eagle, birdie and finished with a -5 (66) for the day.  Lukas Nemecz, from Austria and Matias Calderon from Chile, in third position yesterday, kept in contention with today’s scores of -1 (70). The Irish player, Jonathan Yates and the Frenchman, Franck Medale, with scores of -3 (68) remain in the top ten as they were the day before.

The groups behind see six players at 135 (-7) and five players at 136 (-6) so we should see some movement on the leader board for the final round.

The cut came at 140 (-2) which sees 57 players teeing off tomorrow, 50 professionals and 7 amateurs.

The first flight of three goes out at 7:41am and the last one at 11:41. More blue skies and sunshine forecast for the last day of this year’s Open de la Mirabelle d’Or.

Results Day 2: click here

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8th September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

The Alps Tour Forges on to France

Metz (France), 8th September 2020 – The busy month of September continues for the Alps Tour players at the Open de la Mirabelle d’Or in Metz. Less than a week after the final of the Cervino Open in Italy, the French stage sees the 17th edition of the competition here at the Golf de la Grange aux Ormes.

And once again, we have a full field of players eager to hit the fairways. Nine of the top ten players on the Order of Merit count present including the four winners of the 2020 season tournaments so far: from Spain, Jordi Garcia del Moral fresh from his Italian win last weekend; from Austria, Lukas Nemecz, Gösser Open champion; from Italy, Stefano Mazzoli, victor at the Red Sea Little Venice Open and from the Netherlands, Lars Keunen, winner of the Ein Bay Open.

Last year’s Open de Mirabelle d’Or champion, the Dutch player, Lars Van Meijel, is absent but there are two other former Mirabelle winners here, both French. Hubert Tisserand won the competition in 2016 as an amateur and returns this year after turning professional in 2019. He is joined by Xavier Poncelet, an Alps Tour veteran who raised the trophy in 2012 and had a recent win in August at the Arcachon Open in France.

They will be facing some stiff competition within the French contingent with the likes of Julien Quesne. In 2007 he topped the Alps Tour OofM and went on to have two victories on the European Tour at the Andalucia Open in 2012 and the Italian Open in 2013. His compatriots, Victor Riu, second in the Alps Tour OofM in 2008 and Franck Daux currently compete on the Challenge Tour.

And amongst the amateurs, it is good to see the up and coming Spanish player, Joel Moscatel, currently 87th in the World Amateur Rankings and recent winner of the Catalunya Absoluto Championship this summer.

Out on the course the players face a par 71, 6664 yard/6094 metre parkland terrain lined with century old trees. The fairways are broad, on the whole, but with dense rough running the length to grab any wayward drives. However, the par four 11th hole has a very tight fairway which slopes down to the river that runs alongside it with an elevated green at the end surrounded by out of bounds. All of the greens are well-defended by bunkers and quite a few doglegs add to the interest. The 18th provides a whole array of challenges, from the fairway bunker on the left just before the dogleg, a second shot demanding precision to carry the water hazard in front of the green and also avoid the greenside bunker. It will be interesting to see how the players tackle this one.

One bonus will be the weather. After the very cold conditions at Cervino the players will be able to enjoy their practice rounds and tournament in a warmer climate. It also bodes well for the Pro-Am on Thursday 10th as the forecast for Metz is warm and sunny with temperatures reaching a high of 27°C/81°F on Sunday.

Entries: click here

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3rd September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Joint Leaders Day 2 – Jordi Garcia del Moral & Sebastien Gandon

Breuil-Cervinia (Italy), September 3rd, 2020 – When Jordi Garcia del Moral from Spain reached the 19th at the Cervino Golf Club after his morning round, he was still tournament leader at 125 (-11). His nearest rivals were three shots behind but a certain Frenchman, Sebastien Gandon, had not had his final say and play.

Gandon had started the day at -3 and his day began well:

“I had a fantastic day. My putting was really good, I started with three birdies in a row from the 3rd to the 7th, which got me into the game. Then I had a bit of a blimp on the 10th with a bogey but made eagle on the 13th sinking a 10-metre putt which put me at five under for the day.”

He then followed with two pars and three holes to go. But, as we all know in golf, the game “aint over til it’s over”:

“The last three holes were like a bonus; on the 16th I pitched the ball to within 2 metres of the pin and made birdie, the 17th an approach shot for birdie, and on the 18th a four-metre downhill putt for birdie. Magic putting.”

That made -8 (60) for the day, 125 (-11) overall and equal first place. It bodes well for an exciting final round tomorrow.

In joint third at 128 (-8) is the Italian Marco Guerisoli who slipped back a spot from yesterday. He is joined by Pierre Verlaar from the Netherlands who carded a -6 (62) for the day with an amazing nine birdies tempered by three bogeys to see him move up 17 places. With them is the Frenchman, Romain Guillon, who finished in fourth place yesterday but whose -3 (65) for the day keeps him well in contention.

After that, the remaining top ten spots all belong to new arrivals compared to yesterday on the board. Sixth with 129 (-7), Stefano Mazzoli from Italy had a bogey-free round and six birdies for a -6 (62) round that saw him leap thirty places.

The last four players in the top ten are all at 130 (-6) including the Dutch player, Lars Keunen, winner of the 2020 Ein Bay Open who shot a -5 (63), a score matched by the Italian, Carlo Casalegno. Two rookies enjoying their first Alps Tour season make up the count, Jeong Weon Ko from France, and Inigo Carmona Ybarra from Spain.

The cut came at -1 (135) after thirty-six holes which sees 52 players, 41 professionals and 11 amateurs, qualifying for the third and final round. Play starts at 8:00am from tees one and ten with the last flights teeing off at 9:28am. With warm and mainly sunny weather forecast the players should enjoy their final day here at the Cervino Open.

Results Round 2: click here

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31st August 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Tournament 2 of the Return and the Alps Tour Rises to the Occasion

Breuil-Cervinia (Italy), August 31st, 2020 –By rising to the occasion, we are talking 2050-metres/6726-feet above sea level at the Cervino Golf Club in the Italian Alps.

The highest golf course in Italy and one of the highest in Europe, the par 68, 5305-metre/5799-yard course welcomes its 6th edition of the Cervino Open and celebrates 65 years of affiliation with the Italian Golf Federation.

The stunning backdrop of the Matterhorn, (Il Cervino in Italian and Le Cervin in French), belies a course where the geographic, climatic, and technical challenges are multiple and constantly changing. The sloping terrain offers multiple water hazards, narrow tee offs and even marmot holes. The weather can be capricious with low morning temperatures requiring winter gear and warm afternoon weather seeing the layers peeled off. The elevation of the course affects ball trajectories and distance requiring concentration and anticipation.

Of the 132 players confirmed in the field, there are a number of players who know the course well. In 2018, Giacomo Fortini from Italy, won the competition as an amateur and takes on the challenge again in this his rookie year on the Alps Tour. His compatriot Michele Cea, who was third in 2018, is also present.

The French Alps Tour veteran, Xavier Poncelet who was joint third in 2018 is here, fresh from his win at the Archachon Open in France on August 27th 2020. James Sharp from England, another former Cervino Open champion and Alps Tour habitué, will be hoping to add a win to his previous sole victory here in 2017.

The winners of the 2020 Egypt Series, the Dutchman Lars Keunen, current leader of the Order of Merit and winner in February 2020 of the Ein Bay Open and Stefano Mazzoli from Italy, winner of the Red Sea Little Venice Open, will both be eager to add a victory notch to their belts.

With the absence of last year’s winner, David Carey from Ireland, one thing is sure, there will be a new title holder among the 107 professionals and 25 amateurs teeing up on Wednesday September 2nd.

The forecast for Day 1 means a chilly start for the early tee-offs with a bracing 3°C/37°F in the morning and a maximum of 12°C/54°F in the afternoon. Scattered clouds, long clear spells and light to gentle breezes mean overall good weather conditions as tournament four of the 2020 Alps Tour gets under way.

Entries: click here

 

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25th February 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Mazzoli Wins Final Play Off

Suez (Egypt), February 25, 2020 – The final day of play here at Sokhna Golf Club proved to be a real humdinger with the players really battling it out right down to the line. Stefano Mazzoli, the rookie Italian player, finally walked away with the victory after a one-hole play-off finishing the 54 holes with a 201 (-15).

The three-man play-off was between Mazzoli, Jonathan Yates from Ireland and yesterday’s leader, Sam Robinson from England.

Yates was first into the clubhouse. With five birdies, two pars and two bogeys, he made the turn at -13. A fault-free back nine saw him hole a brace of birdies and seven pars to finish at -5 (67) for the day and 201 (-15) overall and move to the top of the leader board.

In the flight just behind him, Mazzoli teed off the day on -11. It was plain sailing for par until hole 4 when his ball found the water on the left. He carded a double bogey to drop to -9. His hattrick of birdies on the last three holes of the front nine saw him at -12 on the tenth tee. Another four birdies and a single bogey saw him finish at -4 (68) and tied at 201 (-15) to force a play-off with Yates.

But Sam Robinson had not had his last say and had yet to finish. Starting at -14, Robinson had a shaky start to the day with two pars and two bogeys on the first four holes. He settled down to finish the front nine with two birdies and three pars for a par 36. On the back nine he produced another single bogey, but two more birdies saw him finish at -1 (71) to total 201 (-15) and join the play off.

The three players returned to the par 4, hole 18 tee for the face-off. Yates hit a good tee shot and landed on the fairway 53m from the green. Mazzoli had a great drive to finish on the fairway just 15m from the green. Robinson’s ball went AWOL landing in waste area to the left of the fairway, in a hole, to boot.

A fluffed shot by Yates put his ball behind the green almost toying with OB. Mazzoli chipped his ball to 3m of the hole for two on. Robinson’s recovery shot saw him finding the sand in one of the deep greenside bunkers.

Yates chipped on for three at 6 metres from the hole. Robinson’s bunker shot put him three on and 1m from the hole. Yate’s didn’t sink his fourth shot and it was given. Mazzoli lined up his putt, tapped the ball and holed out to win the trophy.

After his victory he expressed his satisfaction at this, his first professional win:

“I’m really happy with the result as it’s been a long journey. I only started playing pro in November last year. The day didn’t start as I had hoped with a double bogey on the fourth, so everything was all uphill from there. In the play-off, I took a chance and played my driver instead of an iron off the tee and it paid off.”.

The other most notable round of today was that of Giulio Castagnara from Italy. He had been leading at the end of round one but a disappointing second round had pushed him back to -7 at the start of play today. Today he performed a terrific remontada with eight birdies to finish in fourth place at 202 (-14). His sole bogey of the round on the last hole prevented us from having a four-way play-off!

At the end of today’s play, Sam Robinson moves to the top of the Order of Merit after his two consecutive second places of the season. Stefano Mazzoli’s win today puts him in second place just ahead of Lars Keunen, winner of the Ein Bay Open.

The Alps Tour returns to Egypt for the next tournament of the Winter Series, the Allegria Open from March 19th to 21st at the Allegria Golf Club on the outskirts of Cairo. Join us there for the next leg of the 2020 season.

 

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