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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11th September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Vacarisas Victorious on Day 1

Metz, 11th September 2020 – The Spanish player Lucas Vacarisas came in at -10 (61) at the end of the first round of the Open de la Mirabelle d’Or here at the Golf de la Grange aux Ormes.

Teeing off this afternoon from the 10th, he started with a birdie on the par 5:

“I started playing very good golf from the first hole. The course is very difficult as you have to hit a good tee shot and also putt well as the greens are tricky. Happily, all my clubs worked for me today”.

An excellent start for the player who has been on the Alps Tour since 2016 and has yet to savour a win, he declared it a “perfect day”.

Two shots behind him at -8 (63) is his compatriot Alejandro Del Rey. The Madrid native recently turned professional after four years at Arizona State University where he finished with an impressive collegiate record. He teed off in the morning flights and entered the clubhouse at the top of the leader board.

“I started a little slowly as it was tough in the morning with the ball not flying too much. I just stayed patient and birdied a bunch of holes in the middle stretch with a final one on the 15th. It was definitely a good round today.

With an eagle, six birdies and not a bogey in sight, as the afternoon session unfolded, he watched various players climb up the board, but he kept his lead. That is until Lucas Vacarisas moved into overdrive. He had started the tenth at -5 (31) and played par until hole thirteen where three birdies in a row put him joint leader. A par followed but his final flourish of two more birdies secured him the top place on the leader board.

In joint third position at -7 (64) is Lukas Nemecz, from Austria this year’s winner of the Gösser Open and the Chilean player, Matias Calderon. It was eight birdies and a bogey for Nemecz and seven birdies and pars for Calderon who was more than pleased with his play:

“A really good day. I’ve been struggling over the past couple of years with my mental side of the game so to have a good solid round on this first day makes me feel pretty good. So, yes, very happy about it.”

Right behind them at -6 (65) is the Italian player, Guglielmo Bravetti. This veteran Alps Tour player had a bogey-free round and three birdies on each nine.

Rounding out the top ten at -5 (66) are five players including local professional Jules Coupade who previously held the course record of -9 (62) until today and his compatriot Franck Medale who was third here last year. Bradley Bawden from England, winner of the Alps Tour 2019 Q School is also there with his fellow Englishman, Marcus Thomas Mohr, victor at the 2018 Open de Saint-François Région Guadeloupe . The Irish player, Jonathan Yates, completes the group.

Making the count for the top twenty at -4 (67) are nine players. Among them the promising Spanish amateur, Joel Moscatel, WAGR 87th and Julien Quesne, two-time European Tour winner who admitted to problems with his driving:

“I’m pretty happy with my score as my tee-offs were not so good so I missed quite a few fairways which made it difficult to do better than -4. I just want to make the most of my time at the moment, to play in tournaments and play under pressure. I want to play, I need to play, so I’m very happy to be here.”

The weather conditions today were practically perfect. Despite a nippy early morning start, the day turned gloriously sunny and warm. The forecast is for more of the same tomorrow. Play starts at 7:45 am from tees one and ten.

 

Results Day 1: 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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2nd September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Jordi Garcia del Moral Leads End of Day 1

Breuil-Cervinia (Italy), September 2nd, 2020 – The opening round of the Cervino Open saw the Spanish player, Jordi Garcia del Moral top of the leader board with a -7 (61) for the day.

After his second-place finish two weeks ago at the Gösser Open, Jordi is obviously on form:

My game today was perfect. I shot 5 under for 9 so I was thinking a little bit to try and do 5 or 6 under on the back nine .To be honest, I’m very happy I’m playing great golf right now so I just try to let it happen and we will see.”

In fact, after his 3 birdies and an eagle on the front nine, he carded two more birdies on the back nine.

In second position at -6 (62) is Marco Guerisoli from Italy who had 7 birdies and a bogey. Four of his birdies came on the back nine, including the last two, par four holes.

In joint fourth place at -5 (63), the Frenchman, Romain Guillon, entered the club house as leader after the morning rounds:

“It was a really good day. From the beginning I placed my tee shots well and then had lots of wedge and iron shots to hit the green, so I was pretty efficient even if have a couple of regrets about the two bogeys  but that’s golf, it happens.”

Alongside him is the American player Zeke Martinez. The Californian native is a long-time resident of Italy. Here by special invitation, he regularly plays at the Senior Italian Open, and today produced 6 birdies going out, 1 more coming in and 2 bogeys.

We have a group of five players sitting at -4 (64) including the Frenchman, Xavier Poncelet who was at the top of the board after his morning round:

“The round went pretty well with a great start. After that I had a few of difficulties on the greens as they have irregular speeds, and you can have some unfavourable bounces. So, I three-putted twice but recovered well to finish with 3 birdies in the last 5 holes, so I’m happy. “

He is joined by the two Italian players, Federico Livio who scored 5 birdies plus one bogey and Edoardo Giletta who had six birdies, five of which were on the front nine, but two bogeys saw him drop back coming in. The Austrian player Markus Habeler and the Spaniard, Javier Parada Puertas, complete the group. Both started from the tenth and both eagled the 17th hole par four. At the end of the round they had each done 1 eagle, 4 birdies and 1 double bogey.

The pack behind sees nine players at -3 (65) and seventeen players at -2 (66), so there will be everything to play for tomorrow in round two , heading for the cut. The forecast for Day 2 here at the Cervino Golf Club looks to be a little warmer than today with sunshine and some clouds.  Tee-off starts at 7:30 am from both the first and tenth tees.

 

Results Day 1: click here

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15th August 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Lukas Nemecz Reclaims His Crown

Maria Lankowitz (Austria), August 15, 2020 – What a great way to celebrate the return of the Alps Tour 2020 season with a nail-biting finish here at the Gösser Open which saw Lukas Nemecz from Austria, winner of the tournament in 2017, grab the title on the last hole with a -17 (199) for the 54 holes.

The final round teed off at 11:15am. Possible inclement weather later in the afternoon imposed a shotgun start at the Erzherzog Johann Golf Club to ensure that the round could be completed.

Round 2 had finished at 10:45am with Jordi Garcia Del Moral from Spain topping the leader board at 130 (-14) and in joint second place at 132 (-12) the Frenchman Thomas Elissalde and two Austrian players, Alexander Kopp and the amateur Maximilian Lechner. Yesterday’s number two, Angel Hidalgo Portillo from Spain, started in fifth position at 133 (-11) alongside the Italian Jacopo Vecchi Fossa and Lukas Nemecz from Austria.

Everything looked to be plain sailing as Jordi Garcia Del Moral started the back nine at -17 overall. However, Sebastien Gandon from France suddenly burst into contention.  He had started from the 8th tee at -8 and opened with 5 straight pars. He then went into a birdie frenzy of 8 in a row which saw him steam up the leader board to second position on hole thirteen.

This left him just three strokes behind the leader. Jordi then bogeyed the 15th to leave just two strokes between them and three holes to go. Sebastien finished with pars to come into the clubhouse with an amazing -8 (64) for the day and 200 (-16) for the tournament.

Jordi was still out on the course with two holes to play and…he bogeyed the last two placing him and Sebastien in line for a play-off with both sitting at 200 (-16).

But Thomas Elissalde, winner of the Gösser Open in 2014, who started at -12 from the first tee alongside Jordi, had three birdies on the front nine interrupted by a double bogey to see him on the 10th for -14. He kept his cool on the last nine holes and another two birdies saw a three-way play-off lined up.

And still more surprises, as the Austrian player Alexander Kopp at -15 on the 17th birdied the last hole to also finish with 200 (-16). A four-way play-off?

All eyes were now riveted on Lukas Nemecz, who had teed off from the third at -11. Following three birdies he was at -15 with two holes to play. Two magnificent birdies saw him winning his second Gösser Open trophy and third Alps Tour win after the 2019 Dreamland Pyramids Open.

Lukas had not realised that he was putting for his second Gösser victory on the 18th green:

“I thought Jordi was still at -18 and didn’t know that he had bogeyed the last two holes. I knew the last putt was important, but I didn’t know it was for the win. I couldn’t believe it when people said that it was the winner.”

He also talked about at being back playing professional golf and the Covid restrictions:

“It’s great that we can play golf and that the Alps Tour and the promotor did everything possible so that we could play. It’s important to play every opportunity that we have. It’s a little different with the Covid situation and we’ve had to make little adaptations but that make sense and are very important. At the end of the day it’s a 54-hole tournament and every hole counts. It was great playing but I’m happy it’s over!”.

One of the adaptations for the tournament is the innovation by the Alps Tour of the introduction of a mobile phone live scoring application, replacing paper score cards and thus reducing contact points. Developed by OCS Sport, led by MD Lee Probert, the players reacted very positively to it. As the winner, Lukas Nemecz said:

“I think it’s great. It’s modern, easy to use, a real live scoring. We’re living in a digital world, so I think it’s really good”.

The new application will become standard for future tournaments and the next Alps Tour 2020 tournament is the Cervino Alps Open at the Cervino Golf Club in Italy from 2nd to 4th September 2020. A presto!

 

Final results: click here

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14th August 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Day 2 Play Suspended – Jordi Garcia Del Moral Still Topping the Leaderboard

Maria Lankowitz (Austria), August 14, 2020 – It has been an exciting and eventful day here at the Gösser Open at Erzherzog Johann Golf Club. Play was finally suspended at 7:50pm due to darkness with Jordi Garcia Del Moral keeping his lead with a 131 (-13) overall with 8 holes to play.

The day started at 7:00am with Round 1 to be completed, at the end of which the top two positions stayed the same with the Spaniards Jordi Garcia Del Moral at -12 (60) leading the board and Angel Hidalgo Portillo at -8 (64).

In the group of players in third position at -7 (65), one change as the Austrian amateur, Maximilian Lechner moved up to join his compatriots Uli Weinhandl and Lukas Nemecz. That made a group of six in all with the Italians Jacopo Vecchi Fossa and Andrea Saracino and the New Zealander Shaun Jones.

At -6 (66) the group of four including Sam Robinson from England, Tomas Bessa Guimaraes from Portugal and Sebastien Gandon from France saw one movement as the Austrian Alexander Kopp moved up when the Frenchman Thomas Elissalde dropped a shot to finish -5 (67).

However, Thomas Elissalde did a rapid turnaround and started Round 2 at 9:15am with 5 birdies on the front nine and another 3 on the back nine. He was on the 18th tee when play was suspended at 1:50pm due to thunderstorms. He gave a summary of his day:

 “I was up very early to finish Round 1 and didn’t necessarily do the best on the last holes as I dropped a shot on the 18th after play resumed. But Round 2 was much better where I had good course management, putting and wedging. I love this course and overall am pretty happy with my game”.

He finished the day in the number 2 slot with a -7 (65) for the day and a total 132 (-12) for the two rounds. Joining him in joint second place are the two Austrians who had moved up a shot at the end of Round 1 this morning. The rookie Alexander Kopp, winner of the Pro-am on Wednesday, continued his excellent week. Teeing off from the tenth he did mirror -5 (33) on both nines with a total of 7 birdies and one bogey.  Whilst the Austrian amateur, Maximilian Lechner, teeing off from the first had 6 birdies for just one bogey.

In fifth place behind the leaders is the Italian Jacopo Vecchi Fossa at 133 (-11) after carding a -4 (68) for the day.

Right behind him in joint sixth is a group of four players at 134 (-10) including three Austrian players, Lukas Lipold, Uli Weinhandl, and Lukas Nemecz. However, Lukas is in the clubhouse whilst Uli still has 8 holes to play and Lukas 9 holes, alongwith the fourth member of the group, Englishman, Sam Robinson.

One happy player in the clubhouse today was the Austrian amateur, lady player, Emma Spitz who more than held her own coming in with a -4 (68) for the day to give her an overall 137 (-7) for the two days and placing her in joint 21st position. The Viennese native and winner of the 2018 Girls’ British Amateur Open had a very lucid approach to her game:

“I saw it as a challenge for myself to play from the back tees. It wasn’t even about playing against the guys, it was more about challenging myself. I really tried to focus on my own game, playing it hole by hole, using the birdie opportunities when I had them  and not thinking about what the other guys were doing as they hit the ball so much further than me. My goal wasn’t to make the cut, just to play the best golf I could but to end up making the cut is really cool”.

With play suspended and 69 players still out on the course, we could still be in for some surprises tomorrow. Play will resume at 7:00 am Saturday morning 15th August to finish Round 2. The aim is to then finish the third round, weather permitting. Watch this space!

Results: click here

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13th August 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Day 1 Play Suspended – Jordi Garcia Del Moral Currently in the Lead

Maria Lankowitz (Austria), August 13, 2020 – Jordi Garcia Del Moral roared back into action with a -12 (60) on the first day of the Alps Tour 2020 season at the Gösser Open here at the Erzherzog Johann Golf Club. He entered the clubhouse before play was suspended due to thunderstorms.

With an incredible 8 birdies and 1 par on the front nine and then another 4 birdies on the back nine, the Spanish player was evidently thrilled with his game:

“To be honest, I think this was my best day on the golf course. I played unbelievably well despite missing a sure putt on the 18th. I’m very happy as I have been working so hard for the last year. All the players, in fact, everyone knows how tough the situation has been with the Covid. It’s good to be back and I’m really excited to be playing a golf tournament again”.

Jordi has battled with injury over the years since damaging his wrist ligaments in 2009 so knows what it takes to rise to a challenge and consequently has just one aim in mind:

“I’m very focussed to get back on the European Tour. That is my main goal. The players are better and better. The level on the Alps Tour and Challenge Tour are incredible and for the European Tour you have to be at the top of your game”.

He also joked about having been finally able to get a decent night’s sleep this week as he became a father for the second time last week.

His Spanish compatriot, Angel Hidalgo Portillo, lies in second position with a -8 (64). He started from the 10th tee and carded two birdies on the front nine. He added four more birdies coming into the club house to finish in style with an eagle 3 on the last hole.

Just behind him at -7 (65) are a group of five players. From Austria, Uli Weinhandl and Lukas Nemecz, the 2017 Gösser Open champion. The only New Zealander on the tour, Shaun Jones is alongside them. Two Italians make up the tally, Andrea Saracino whose last win was at the 2018 Des Iles Borromees Open and Jacopo Vecchi Fossa who was on the 12th when play was suspended so still has leeway to move up the leader board.

One of his playing partners, Thomas Elissalde is in the group of four players close behind at -6 (66). He is joined by his compatriot Sebastien Gandon , Sam Robinson from England, and the Portuguese player, Tomas Bessa Guimaraes.

Play will resume at 7:00 am tomorrow, Friday 14th August. Whilst the temperature will remain warm, there is a strong likelihood of further thunderstorms. Let’s hope they hold off until the evening!

 

Results Day 1: click here

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11th August 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Austria Hosts Alps Tour 2020 Season Return

Maria Lankowitz (Austria), August 11, 2020 – The hills will once again be alive with the sound of club heads hitting balls as the Gösser Open stages the long-awaited return of the 2020 Alps Tour following the Covid-19 suspension.

Special thanks should be extended to the staff of the Erzherzog Johann Golf Club and Gerald Stangl representing the Murhofgruppe promotor. Their unrelenting hard work has made the tournament possible under challenging conditions.

With a strict sanitary protocol in place to ensure the safety of players and staff, a full field of 144 players tee off on Thursday here in Austria. There are 119 professionals and 25 amateurs from 16 countries eager to get back into play. A strong Austrian contingent of 48 players is only fitting at this jewel of Styrian golf courses.

Among the Austrian entries is last year’s Gösser Open winner Timon Baltl. He is joined by Lukas Nemecz, who claimed victory here in 2017. But they can expect to face stiff competition from local Styrian hero, Martin Wiegele, winner in 2008.

The Austrians may also have to watch out for their two lady compatriots teeing off against them. Sarah Schober, a professional player on the Ladies EuropeanTour and the amateur player Emma Spitz.

Also participating is another former Gösser Open victor from 2014, the Frenchman Thomas Elissalde.  Whilst the winners of the two Egyptian series tournaments at the beginning of 2020 just prior to the Covid-19 suspension, Stefano Mazzoli from Italy, Red Sea Little Venice champion and the Dutchman, Lars Keunen, victor at the Ein Bay Open, will both be hoping to restart their seasons with another trophy.

Among the seasoned players, rookies, amateurs, and wild card entries is special guest, Barry Lane. Currently playing on the European Senior Tour, with 8 wins to date, Barry has an impressive professional golf career under his belt. Victories on the European Tour, a Ryder Cup appearance and representing England in the World Cup and Alfred Dunhill Cup to name but a few of his achievements. He is also one of the 32 players participating in the Pro-Am tournament at Erzherzog Johann Golf Club on August 12th.

Seasoned Alps Tour players affectionately call this tournament the ‘5th Major’. European Tour player and winner of the Gösser Open in 2016, Matt Wallace, in a recent best wishes message to players said that it was: …”one of my favourite tournaments on the Alps Tour and my best win. Great tournament, great course”.

The course certainly lives up to that nickname. Designed by architect DI Herwig Zisser and opened in 1992 it is located on the edge of a nature reserve in Western Styria, about 40 km from Graz.

The natural architecture of the course respecting the rolling hills, forest and lakes creates an idyllic setting. However, the par 72, 5967 metres /6526 yards course holds some interesting challenges. With numerous doglegs creating blind holes, daring players to play over the trees or play safe, the course requires concentration and accuracy.

The weather conditions for this return to play could be a little unsettled with temperatures in the 20°C but the occasional thunderstorm possible. It just remains to wish everyone a warm welcome back to the tee box and three days of great golf.

 

Entries: click here

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29th June 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Back on the stage!

In August, traditional Gösser Open in Austria will welcome the resuming of the 2020 Alps Tour season after the stop caused by the Covid-19 sanitary emergency. The tour is set to go on until November, with three spots on the Challenge Tour 2021 at stake for the best ranked players; mid-December, the Qualifying School will take place once again in Spain.

 

June 29th, 2020 – Finally, the time to go back and play competitive golf is about to come for the rising golf stars of the Alps Tour. After the long stop due to Covid-19 sanitary emergency, we are now ready to announce our restart and next August, Austria will welcome the players eager to feel the thrill of competition again.

It was not an easy task to reorganise the remaining of the 2020 Alps Tour schedule, which started regularly in February with two tournaments in Egypt – Ein Bay Open and Red Sea Little Venice Open, both at Sokhna GC – and produced two young, talented winners, Italian Stefano Mazzoli and Dutch Lars Keunen. But thanks to the support of Alps Tour sponsors and stakeholders, and the commitment of the board of directors, Estelle Richard – Alps Tour Chief Executive and Operations Director – was able to announce a new program: “Our goal is to organise at least 10 events in total, or even 13 if the second Egyptian swing is hopefully reasonably possible. Since safety is our priority”, Richard added, “and in view of the information we now have on the positive evolution of the epidemic, it is reasonable to assume that we will be able to resume in August, considering that health measures and travel restrictions will be greatly eased”.

The new calendar includes some traditional venues and some new experiences in Austria (one tournament), Italy (three), France (two), Spain (two) and Egypt (three).

It is so appropriate that this complicated season is going to restart with the oldest tournament in the history of Alps Tour, certainly one of the most cherished, also known as “the 5th Major” to Alps Tour’s members; the 28th edition of the Gösser Open will take place on August 13-15, once again on the beautiful and challenging 18 holes of Erzherzog Johann Golf Club in Maria Lankowitz, about 40 km from Graz airport.

Another classic venue will follow with Cervino Alps Open on the spectacular 18 holes of Cervino Golf Club in Italy, 2,000 meters above sea level and overlooked by majestic Matterhorn mountain (Valtournenche, September 2-4).

France will welcome the 17th edition of the Open International de la Mirabelle d’Or to be held, as usual, at the Golf de La Grange aux Ormes just outside Metz in the Lorraine region (September 11-13).

After that, it will be time for a full immersion in Spain with two new, prestigious venues: Alps de Andalucia will take place at Club Zaudin Golf (Tomares, Sevilla, September 23-25). Located 10 minutes from the center of Seville, in the vicinity of the Alcor, where prominent figures of Roman Empire constructed their summer villas, the 18 holes have been designed in 1992 by great champion Gary Player. The golf course is immersed in orange and olive trees, nature and design are masterfully combined, where wide fairways and undulating greens are surrounded by century-old olive trees.

The following week, Alps de las Castillas will be hosted by Club de Golf Zarapicos (Salamanca, September 30 – October 2), designed by champion Manolo Piñero and venue for some of the biggest events in Spain. Even though it lays on the Zarapicos Mount, the golf course is not very hilly and instead, it is a pleasant wide, walking course, suitable for strong hitters but also demanding great accuracy on the greens.

In the second half of October, central Italy will host two more tournaments, the traditional Abruzzo Alps Open (October 15-17) at Miglianico Golf & Country Club, near Pescara, a well-tested venue of the tournament for the seventh year in a row, and Toscana Alps Open (October 22-24), a welcome comeback at Golf Club Toscana, near Grosseto, where Alps Tour organised its Qualifying School back in 2011.

Then the Alps Tour will fly to the Caribbean Islands for its traditional date with Open de Saint-François – Région Guadeloupe, in the West French Indies; the tournament should take place in the first week of November but the exact date is still to be confirmed.

The Egyptian Cairo swing, which originally was to be played in March, has now been postponed from the 12th to the 24th of November.

At the end of the season, the best ranked players will be granted a coveted reward: “We are very proud to announce that, thanks to our common work with the other Satellite Tours (Pro Golf Tour and Nordic League), we have obtained a great result as the Challenge Tour will offer to each Satellite Tour 3 spots for the 2021 season”, stated Richard. And added: “Please be assured that we closely monitor the situation and we are ready to take immediately any appropriate new decision to protect the safety and health of our players, employees, contractors, volunteers”.

Finally, the Qualifying School will take place for the 9th time at beautiful La Cala Resort, in the South of Spain, from December 13th to 19th (First and Final Stage).

Here is the complete, updated schedule:


4th November 2019 | Alps Tour Golf

The Victors of the Alps Tour Order of Merit 2019

After a closely fought Grand Final in Italy on the Terre dei Consoli and Golf Nazionale courses, the top five Alps Tour players on the Order of Merit 2019 earned a place on the Challenge Tour for the 2020 season.

In first place was the Italian player, Edoardo Lipparelli. A rookie on the tour, he played 15 of the 17 tournaments this season, achieving 8 top ten tournaments finishes including winning the Open de Saint Francois Region Guadeloupe in June. Consistency of play would maybe be the keyword to his game with only two tournament finishes over par and a stroke average of 68.87.

His compatriot, the rookie Enrico di Nitto came in second on the OofM. The highlight of his season was winning the Nazionale Open in July. This coupled with 9 top ten finishes over 15 tournaments and a stroke average of 69.24 underlines his determination on the tour.

Frédéric Lacroix from France holds a well-deserved third place after winning three tournaments in his rookie year; the Ein Bay Open in February that opened the 2019 season, the Alps de Las Castillas in May and the Saint-Malo Golf Mixed Open in July. This third victory after 13 tournaments gave Frédéric a place on the Challenge Tour for the remaining 2019 season. His sixth-place finish at the Grand Final and extremely focussed play throughout the season allows him to continue on the Challenge Tour in 2020.

Federico Maccario’s win last week at the Grand Final on his home turf of Italy, secured him fourth place on the OofM. Disappointed by having been a strong contender but having finally lost some of the 17 tournaments he competed in this season, his patience and commitment paid off with an incredibly solid game to give him his rookie victory.

The only non-rookie in the top five, the Austrian player, Timon Baltl’s perseverance finally paid off in this, his third season on the Alps Tour.He savoured his first tournament win on home turf at the Gosser Open in May of this year which contributed to his season-end ticket to the Challenge Tour.

Five rising stars in the world of golf who now move on to the next chapter in their professional careers. A career started on the Alps Tour which has proven to be a successful springboard for launching aspiring, young golfers on the professional European circuit.

Just this weekend at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, Victor Perez came in joint fourth. This follows on from his victory at the prestigious Dunhill Links Championship in September of this year. The French player made his début on the Alps Tour in 2016 where his OofM third place saw him move on to the Challenge Tour in 2017 and at the end of 2018, earn a place on the European Tour.

He is now the highest ranked French golfer at N°57 of the Official World Golf Ranking and rises to number 13 in the Race to Dubai.

Another recent notable former Alps Tour player is Matt Wallace from England who after winning six tournaments on the Alps Tour and the OofM in 2016, moved on to the Challenge Tour in 2017. His performance including winning the Open de Portugal, a dual-ranking event with the main tour, gave him promotion to the European Tour. His 2018 season saw him win three events; the Hero Indian Open, the BMW International Open and Made in Denmark. With a share of fifth at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and tying for second at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship he moved into the top 50 of the OWGR. 2019 has seen him continue to progress with a notable joint third at the PGA Championship Major. He is currently 28th on the OWGR and 6th in the Race to Dubai.

Winner of the Portugal Open in October 2019, the English player, Steven Brown, started out on the Alps Tour in 2012, went on to win the OoM in 2014 and moved to the Challenge Tour where he played until 2017. He had a successful season with seven top-ten finishes to finish 12th on the OoM and earn a place on the European Tour for 2018 which he finished at 97th on the OoM. A disappointing start to the 2019 season has been compensated by his recent victory plus an 11th place at the Amundi Open de France.

Two more French players also continue to make their mark. Antoine Rozner gained notoriety in 2019 when he won two back-to-back Challenge Tour events at the start of the season; the Challenge de España and the Prague Golf Challenge the very next week. He started on the Alps Tour in 2017 before his third place on the OofM saw him move on to the Challenge Tour in 2018 . Robin Roussel was on the Alps Tour for the same season as his compatriot where he finished fifth on the OofM.  He has had six top 10 finishes this season on the Challenge Tour including victory at the Hauts de France – Pas de Calais Golf Open. They are currently fourth and fifth on the OoM with a European Tour card beckoning.

Other former Alps Tour players can be cited but let’s leave the last word to Frédéric Lacroix, one of this year’s top five OoM when recently interviewed and asked what he thought of the Alps Tour: “It’s underrated. It looks easy from the outside but in the end it’s not. There are good players and you have to play solid to get on top.”

 

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