17th July 2021 | Alps Tour Golf

Xavier Poncelet Wins the Roma Alps Letas Open

July 17th, 2021 – Rome, Italy. After being leader and joint leader on the first two days, Xavier Poncelet maintained his focussed, solid game for a third straight day to win the Roma Alps Letas Open with a final round of 68 (-4) for a total of -17 (199).

This was the first win for the French player since the Mirabelle d’Or in 2012 and the first time he has headed the leader board over three days :

«Since 2012 I’ve had a lot of second and third places, lost a play-off but today was the day and I’m really happy. I played really well with just one bogey on the front nine after a flyer from the rough. Then on the 16th there was a lot of wind. I hit a good shot and was really surprised when it landed in the water and I did double-bogey. I looked at the leader board on the seventeenth tee and saw that I was level leader. I did a good drive and made birdie then on the eighteenth the wind made things really tough but a good drive and an eight iron to the middle of the green and par ».

It was a fantastic finale here at the Golf Club Parco dei Medici with a battle right down to the line between the top five players. At one stage a play-off loomed as Scotsman Ryan Lumsden came into the clubhouse two flights ahead of Poncelet with -16 (200). Poncelet’s double-bogey had them level :

« There are still some very good players out there. Xavier has the 17th to play and a birdie possibility. Alessia too who is a fantastic player. There are lots of possible outcomes but I played really well today so regardless of the outcome I can’t be upset » .

As Lumsden forecast, Poncelet birdied the 17th then parred the 18th to leave the Scotsman as runner-up.

A trio of players shared third place with -15 (201). Alessia Nobilio was the top LETAS player, top Italian player and top amateur player today. Quite a result for the nineteen year-old player who carded 5 birdies and just one bogey today.

« I came here just hoping to make the cut so it’s amazing to be in the top three. I’ve only played four professional tournaments so far and this is my best result. Everything was perfect these last three days and I really enjoyed playing with the guys as I learnt a lot from them.»

She is joined by Gary Hurley from Ireland who had nine birdies today and two bogeys. Alongside him is the French player, Paul Elissade who shot an eagle, five birdies and a bogey.

The top Alps Tour amateur was Paul Margolis on -14 (202) who had an error-free 63 (-9) today to equal the best score of the tournament. This put him in joint sixth place with compatriot Sebastien Gandon and yesterday’s joint leader, Gonzalo Vicente Elena.

Ryan Lumsden moves to second place on the Order of Merit behind Angel Hidalgo Portillo and  followed by Jacopo Vecchi Fossa in third.

A great end to the second mixed Open in the Alps Tour history and, once again, resoundingly positive feedback from the players. A breather of four weeks before the next stop of the Alps Tour at the Gosser Open in Austria from 19th-21st August.

Final Results: click here or check on the Alps Tour Golf app.

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16th July 2021 | Alps Tour Golf

Joint Leaders in Rome Going into the Final – Poncelet & Vicente Elena

July 16th, 2021 – Rome, Italy. Yesterday’s leader, Xavier Poncelet kept his first place but is now sharing it with Gonzalo Vicente Elena from Spain with both players on -13 (131) at the Roma Alps Letas Open.

Gonzalo Vicente Elena entered the clubhouse as leader after the morning rounds and his 63 (-9), the lowest score of the tournament so far. The 2019 Fred Olsen Alps de la Gomera victor particularly appreciates the Parco dei Medici course :

« It’s a tricky course but I really like it. Above all it’s a fun course to play and you can really enjoy your game with many different situations and dfferent club choices to make. It’s amazing. The greens are not particularly fast but they have a good roll. I think it’s hard to three putt on them. The conditions are just perfect ».

With 2 eagles, 7 birdies and a brace of bogeys on his card, he stayed very focussed:

« I started like yesterday with a bogey and so I said ‘hey, you start with a bogey now come on with the birdies’. Hole two I hit a great shot from 200 metres to put it within a metre of the hole for eagle and I started to relax. I didn’t think about the cut but just focussed on my game and played very solidly. My putting was amazing, with great rolls on the greens. Another eagle on the fifth and more birdies. Just one more bogey on the 13th where my drive went a bit left into the bunker and with very little sand it was impossible to par ».

Yesterday’s leader, Xavier Poncelet, started well with a front nine of 34 (-3) putting him at -11 and just two strokes behind the leader :

« I played the fron nine really well and then on the 10th I had a bogey when I caught the rough and I missed the green on the 11th which is a tricky par 3 for another bogey. But after that I continued to play well with four birdies on the back nine focussing on my game and playing as I have all week ».

In joint third place on -11 (133) are the two LETAS amateur players Alessia Nobilio from Italy and the Swiss Anouk Casty, who both carded 65 (-7) today. Nobilio had an error-free round for a total of seven birdies whilst Casty also had seven birdies with her two bogeys being neutralised by an eagle.

The cut came at -2 (142) with 62 players teeing off tomorrow for the final round, 46 pros and 16 amateurs.  A quarter of the finalists are ladies from the LETAS of whom 6 are amateurs.

The flights start out at 8:00 am tomorrow from the first and tenth and there will even be some sibling competiton with Leonor and Tomas Bessa from Portugal playing together.

It should be a closely fought final as there are twelve players within 5 strokes of the leaders.

Results Round 2: click here or check on the Alps Tour Golf app.


15th July 2021 | Alps Tour Golf

Xavier Poncelet Leads in Rome

July 15th, 2021 – Rome, Italy. With a -8 (64) Xavier Poncelet entered the clubhouse at the top of the leader board after his morning round and at end of play, he had not been dethroned. The Frenchman carded a total of 9 birdies and just one bogey in the Roma Alps Letas Open  here at the Golf Club Parco dei Medici.

« It was a really great round. The front nine . I played really well all the day. On the front nine there was less wind at the beginning so it was easier to manage the distance so I got a lot of opportunities. My putting was good. Then on the back nine the wind picked up but I only missed two greens today. I managed my game well and when I missed I made a chip putt. The greens were soft and slow so I could be more aggressive ».

It was his first time playing the course and he was full of praise for the greenkeepers’ work preparing the course which he described as a « great design ».

Two shots behind on -6 (66) are three players. The Cross of Saint Andrew flag is being proudly brandished by two Scottish players. The lowest score among the LETAS players went to Gabrielle Macdonald who started with a double bogey but did not let it faze her :

« I was annoyed with myself as I hit the fairway but pulled my eight iron into the bunker, thinned it out and missed my putt, so short game errors. But, I’d seen people in the morning who had a bad start and knew that there was time to come back, so I just tried to forget about it. I made a couple of good pars and then a hole-in-one on the 13th and after that I just couldn’t stop smiling. My first ever hole-in-one so quite a special moment for me ».

Macdonald finished her round with six birdies and not a bogey in sight. She is shoulder to shoulder with her compatriot Ryan Lumsden, winner of last week’s Alps de la Castillas, his second victory this season, after the MIRA Golf Experience Acaya Open in March. Lumsden has made no secret of his quest for a third title and with eight birdies and two bogeys he looks on form. Right alongside them is Sigot Lopez from Spain, whose eagle on the par five 17th lifted him up a slot after 6 birdies and two bogeys.

Eight players are right behind on –5 (67) including the highest placed amateur today, Paul Margolis from France. They are closely followed by a group of eleven players just one stroke behind on -4 (68) including the next four LETAS players. The Australian player, Kristalle Blum had briefly held the lead at the end of her morning round. She is joined by the two top lady amateurs, Anouk Casty from Switzerland and the Italian, Alessia Nobilio.

Play resumes tomorrow at 7:30 am from tees one and ten with the cut coming at the end of the thirty-six holes and 45 players and ties qualifying for the final on Saturday.

Results Round 1: click here or check on the Alps Tour Golf app.

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18th November 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Qualifying School 2020 Final – Round 2 – Will Heffernan Fires 65 To Take The Lead

November 18th, 2020 – Rome, Italy – With the best score of the day on both courses, a resounding 65 (-7), Will Heffernan from Australia took the lead with an overall -9 (135) after 36 holes.

Teeing off on the Terre dei Consoli Golf Club course from the first, the player from Down Under started in style with a birdie. He finished the first nine with three more, started the back nine with another birdie, dropped a shot with a single bogey but recovered with three more birdies coming home.

“I’m confident with the putter. The putter and the driver in fact but it’s all about the putting here as it’s quite wide off the tee. I holed a lot of putts today and that’s always gonna get it done, isn’t it? So far, I’m doing everything pretty well so I can’t complain”.

Winner last week on the Golf Club Parco de’ Medici course, he heads into the final round at the Golf Nazionale with the same approach:

“You’ve got to plot your way around the course. It’s going to be soft as I’m sure the grass is still wet there. So, just put yourself on the fairway and try to give yourself as many birdie opportunities as possible”.

Two strokes behind him on the same course, preserving his second place from yesterday is the American Blaire McKeithen. He had a grand total of 7 birdies and would have been joint leader if not for two bogeys on each nine to give him a 67(-5) for the day and an overall -7 (137).

Over on the Golf Nazionale, the Englishman Jack Trewhitt signed a 68 (-4) with just one bogey today to put him in third place with -6 (138).

In joint fourth place, Paul McBride from Ireland on the Terre dei Consoli Golf Club and Javier Gallegos Marsal from Spain on the Golf Nazionale are both at -5 (139). The two players came in at 69 (-3) for the day.

Tied for sixth after their rounds on the Golf Nazionale, yesterdays leader, the Irishman, Simon Bryan, and Will Porter from Scotland sit at -4 (140). Three birdies and two bogeys for Bryan for a 71(-1) today, whilst the Scotsman had six birdies and a lone bogey for a 67 (-5), six shots better than yesterday.

The highest amateur on the leader board is the French player Paul Margolis, at -3 (141) in eighth position. He had another steady round today on the Golf Nazionale with two birdies and a bogey for a 71 (-1).

Also on the Golf Nazionale, a trio of players share ninth place at -2 (142). The two Dutchmen, Philip Bootsma and Koen Kouwenaar both shot a 69 (-3) who are joined by the Italian player, Giovanni Craviolo.

The cut came at +7 with 16 amateurs among the 73 players coming through. The Final Round tees off tomorrow from the 1st and 10th tees of the Golf Nazionale to decide who gets category 6 (top 35 and ties) or category 8 (from 36th to 73rd) on the Alps Tour next year.

Those players who did not make the cut will be eligible for membership in category 9 of the Alps Tour for the 2021 season.

The weather forecast looks to be smiling on the Final as sunny skies and light winds are forecast for tomorrow.

Results Round 2 Final Stage: click here

 

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17th November 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Qualifying School 2020 Final – Simon Bryan Leads After Round One

November 17th, 2020 – Rome, Italy – Blustery conditions made play difficult today but after the first eighteen holes, the Irishman, Simon Bryan is in the lead by one stroke from his nearest contender at -3 (69).

The 28-year old player from Druids Heath Golf Club in County Wicklow is not unfamiliar with such meteorological conditions:

“It was very windy; it was basically like being back at home but just with much warmer weather. So, keeping the ball’s flight down was pretty handy and with some of the greens being soft we could get at some of the flags, but you had to pay attention with being short sided. It was good, I kept ball in hand pretty much most of the day and when I was out of position on the greens, I just tried to put it close”.

Playing on the Terre dei Consoli course, Bryan teed off from the 1st making one bogey on each nine and a total of 5 birdies.  Having arrived early in Italy, he has got to know the course well:

“I’ve been here for three weeks. As soon we went into lockdown, I straightaway got onto the Alps Tour and then I got the General Manager’s email and we asked if we could come over and practice and they were more than happy to have us over. So I’ve been playing this golf course for three weeks solid. There were a couple of times today that I didn’t even look at the yardage book and just hit the shot. So, it was really nice to have that and it helped big time. We also got in a couple of practice rounds on the Golf Nazionale, so that’s tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it. I have a good game plan in place which is key on that course.”

There is a bit of a bottleneck in second position with seven players sitting at -2 (70). Three of them also played the Terre dei Consoli course; Javier Gallegos Marsal from Spain and two English players; Jack Trewhitt and Thomas Thurloway. The other four players were on the Golf Nazionale course today including the leader’s compatriot, Paul McBride. From the USA, we see Blaire McKeithen who briefly took the lead during the day and Will Heffernan from Australia, winner at Golf Club Parco de’ Medici in the First Qualifying round. The final slot is filled by the French amateur Paul Margolis.

In joint ninth place at -1 (71), is the top-ranked amateur present, Eduard Rousaud from Spain who had the only bogey-free round of the day.  He is joined by Alan De Bondt from Belgium, Alessandro Notaro from Italy and Victor Trehet from France.

Eagles were few and far between today, but the French amateur, Carl Bertrand, finished his round at the Golf Nazionale with one on the par 5 18th .  He is among the next group of five players at Par (72). The other eagle was from the Italian Guglielmo Bravetti who scored a hole-in-one on the par 3 9th. He is in the dozen players at +1 (73).

The players switch courses tomorrow for the second round at the end of which comes the cut to 65 players. The weather promises to be sunny and the wind should drop.

Results Round 1 Final Stage: 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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11th November 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Qualifying School 2020 – First Stage Round One Results

November 11th, 2020 – Rome, Italy – After all the players had teed off this morning on each of the three courses in the First Stage of this year’s Alps Tour Qualifying School, the official announcement of the number of places available to qualify for the Final Stage was made. Of the 161 players today, there will be a total of 86 slots to join the 58 others already qualified by exemption.

Interestingly, the leaders on each of the three courses today carded identical scores of 69 (-3) over the first eighteen holes.

Golf Nazionale course: 37 spots available for the Final Stage:

A total of seven players hit under par today. At the end of play, at 69 (-3) joint leaders are Leo Andeer from Switzerland and the Spaniard, Sigot López. The Swiss player, with three birdies and no bogeys, carded the only bogey-free round of the day on all of the three courses.

In second place at 70 (-2) are two amateur players, Odin Antonino Urso from Italy, and Sam Dumez from France. And in joint third at 71 (-1) another duo of amateurs from Spain, Victor Garcia Broto and Alvaro Hernandez Cabezuela alongwith Henry K Simpson from France. Hernandez Cabezuela was the author of one of two eagles on the course today, the other going to Paul Foulquie from France currently lying 24th. We then have a group of four players at par,

Terre dei Consoli Golf Club course: 36 spots available for the Final Stage:

A total of nine players broke par today. Joint leaders from Spain, David Morago and Javier Gallegos on -3 (69). Morago had one of the three eagles scored here today, alongside three birdies and a double-bogey. Gallegos had five birdies and two bogeys.

Joint second place goes to two Austrian players on 70 (-2) who have previously played on the Alps Tour; Clemens Prader winner of the 2008 Czech Open, who also had an eagle on his card and Bernard Neumayer. The third eagle of the day went to Augustin Hole from France currently in 25th position.

We then have a pack of five players at 71 (-1) including two amateurs, Henri Battilani from Italy and Hugo Legeay-Gaucher from France. They are joined by Alvaro Veiga Pena from Spain, the Austrian Jurgen Maurer and Alessandro Aloi from Italy.

Parco de’ Medici course: 13 spots available for the Final Stage:

Only two players came in under par. Leading after 18 holes is the Italian amateur, Alessandro Radig on 69 (-3). Two strokes behind him is Will Heffernan, the only Australian player present, on 71 (-1). Both had steady rounds as Radig carded five birdies and two bogeys, whilst Heffernan had two birdies and one bogey. Two more Italian players are next at par 72, Filippo Bernabe and Matteo Massitti. The rest of the field are at 74 (+2) or more.

The players tee off tomorrow morning in the decisive round at 8:00 am on the Golf Nazionale and Terre dei Consoli Golf Club courses and at 8:30 am on the Parco de’ Medici course. Should there be a tie on any of the courses, then a hole by hole playoff will be used to determine the players for the last qualified spot and alternates.

The weather will be a little less favourable than today being forecast to be cloudy and with the possibility of occasional showers in the afternoon.

Results Round 1 Golf Nazionale: click here

Results Round 1 Terre dei Consoli Golf Club: click here

Results Round 1 Golf Club Parco de’ Medici: click here

Entries Final Stage: click here

 

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30th October 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Jacopo Vecchi Fossa Seizes First Victory

October 30th, 2020 – Rome, Italy – What a finish to the Alps Tour 2020 season! After a round that had everyone on the edge of their seats until the final hole, the victor was Jacopo Vecchi Fossa from Italy with a final round of 68 (-4) and a grand total of -13 (203).

“It’s great to win the last tournament of the season. I’ve played six events this year and I’ve played well on some great courses. Plus, this win secures me my full card for the Alps Tour next season”.

Having undergone heart surgery in 2017, it is great to see him fully recovered and back on form. His pleasure at winning his first Alps Tour title was dimmed though by the fact that his playing partner, Jeong Weon Ko incurred a one stroke penalty on the 18th green.

On the 18th tee, Ko was one stroke ahead at -13. His ball came to rest just off the green and he marked it to check the line, but then moved the ball to adjust the line which is an infringement of rule 9.4b of the Rules of Golf. His error obviously unsettled him as he three-putted to finish with a double bogey whilst the Italian birdied to secure the win.

“It takes a little joy away from my win as I felt really sorry for Jeong”.

Nevertheless, Ko can take some comfort from his second place as it was enough to secure him third place on the Order of Merit and thus one of the three Challenge Tour places for next year.

The remaining two Challenge Tour places go to Jordi Garcia Del Moral from Spain, who was the winner of the 2020 OofM and his fellow countryman, Lucas Vacarisas who was second. Jordi Garcia Del Moral had arrived at the final secure in the knowledge that his performance this year with six top ten results, including a win at the Cervino Open meant that he would already have one of the three cards.

“I knew I had one of the top three places on the OofM but I had to aim for a top three win here, in case Lucas won the tournament”. He finally finished ninth which was more than enough as Lucas Vacarisas finished sixth.

Next week sees Jordi Garcia Del Moral heading home to Spain for a Challenge Tour event but he expressed his gratitude to the Alps Tour team.

“It’s been a long year, difficult with the Covid 19 but finally we finished the year. We did nine events, and all the players are very grateful to you guys for working so hard and doing a great job. So, thank you!”

The Alps Tour returns to Italy on the 11th November for the First Stage of the 2020 Qualifying School. The first two rounds will be played on three different courses near Rome over two days. The Golf Club Parco de’ Medici, the Terre dei Consoli Golf Club and the Golf Nazionale. These last two clubs will then host the Final Stage over three rounds the following week from the 17th-19th November.

 

Final Results: click here

 

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