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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23rd October 2019 | Alps Tour Golf

Lipparelli Leads After Round 1

Rome (Italy), October 23, 2019 – On a balmy autumn day with blue skies, no wind and summer-like temperatures, the Italian player, Edoardo Lipparelli came into the clubhouse at -5 (67) to take the lead in the Alps Tour Grand Final at the Golf Nazionale.

With 6 birdies and just one bogey on his scorecard, Edoardo Lipparelli played a steady round. “I’m happy with my game. I hit a couple of bad shots, but I was able to recover well. Everything else was fairly solid. My putting worked pretty well, even if some putts didn’t drop. Overall, I’m pleased with my score and I feel comfortable for tomorrow.”

The dense rough along the fairways claimed a number of victims today as any wayward tee-shots were immediately punished. As Lipparelli stated: “I think the most important part on this golf course are the tee shots. To hit the most fairways possible. I was lucky enough to hit a lot of good shots off the tee and not look for any balls. That definitely helps on this golf course, so that was the best part of my game today.”

The course hosted the Nazionale Open in July of this year, but the course conditions are not exactly the same. Differences that Lipparelli appreciates: “It’s playing a little differently because it’s less dry and so it is playing longer aswell because the ball doesn’t bounce as much. I like it. It’s in very good shape for this final.”

Indeed, despite the near-perfect playing conditions, the challenging Jim Fazio designed course saw plenty of birdies, pars, bogeys and double-bogeys but just a single eagle among the 40 players out there today, that of the Portuguese rookie, Vitor Londot Lopes on the par 5 hole 18.

The rookies were out in force today with six of them in the top ten on the leaderboard after the first round. In second position is the rookie, Martin Contini from Argentina, who carded a bogey-free -4 (68). Whilst in the four players tied for third position on the leaderboard at -3 (69) are two more rookies, Angel Hidalgo Portillo from Spain and Edgar Catherine from France alongside the experienced players Davey Porsius from the Netherlands and Xavier Poncelet from France.

Rounding out the top ten at -2 (70) are three more rookies; lone-eagle scorer, Vitor Londot Lopes, and Mathias Eggenberger from Switzerland alongwith Jonathan Yates from Ireland accompanied by the experienced French player Teremoana Beaucousin.

Of the top 5 players on the Order of Merit, just two of them are in the top ten after the 18 holes of Day 1. Edoardo Lipparelli (1st) and Xavier Poncelet (5th). The other three top 5 players are Frédéric Lacroix (3rd), Enrico Di Nitto (2nd) and Timon Baltl (4th) who came in at -1 (71), Par (72) and +1 (72) respectively.

However, we have another three rounds to go and anything can happen in the game of golf. As Edoardo Lipparelli says, for a tournament of this number of rounds: “Whoever is the most consistent over the four days is going to top the leader board.”

So, consistency is the key. Let’s see what Day 2 produces on the Golf Nazionale course. The first tee-off is at 8:19 and the last flight starts at 11:20.

Rounds 3 and 4 will take place at the Terre dei Consoli Golf Club.

 

Round 1 results: click here

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27th July 2019 | Alps Tour Golf

Enrico Di Nitto Back on Top to Win the Nazionale Open

July 27th, 2019 – Rome, Italy – With a -10 (206) for the three days, the Rome native, Enrico Di Nitto, had an emotional first 2019 Alps Tour victory here in the Nazionale Open at the Golf Nazionale. In front of plenty of local support from friends and family, his win keeps him right on track for his goal of being in the top 5 at the end of the season.

Indeed, his first place today now puts him in third place on the Order of Merit with just one event to go before the Grand Final in October.

Di Nitto: “This is my second win on the Alps Tour but my first win for a very long time and I’m happy to win here in Rome too.”

He admitted to having had some problems with his performance in the second rounds during the season However, he managed to put yesterday’s disappointing second round, result behind him to card a -4 (68) with five birdies and just a single bogey. With 8 top ten finishes this season before today’s win, he was pleased to finally get the desired result:

Di Nitto: “I’ve had some great rounds this year but never finished the way I liked. I have made a lot of good first rounds on the Alps Tour, but the second rounds have often been really bad. Yesterday I was a little bit frustrated with the ending of the second round, but my coach Maximus Scarpa helped me a lot this week so I’m very happy he was here.

In second place was the English player, Ben Amor at -8 (208) for the tournament. He started the round with an extremely strong front nine finishing with a -4 (32) including an eagle on the par 3 seventh.  Despite another birdie on the back nine, two bogeys saw him finish the round at -3 (69) for the day. But his runner-up position gives him his second top ten finish in this his rookie season on the Alps Tour.

Yesterday’s leader, Uli Weinhandl from Austria, finished in third place at -7 (209). He saw his lead gradually eroded away by a difficult first round which included two bogeys and a double bogey on the par 4 fifth. Despite a strong rally coming into the clubhouse his +1 (73) for the day didn’t allow him to get back on top of the leader board.

With a pause in the season in August, the Alps Tour resumes play in September for the final tournament before the Grand Final in October. The 2019 Cervino Open takes place from 5th to 7th September at the Cervino Golf Club in Valle d’Aosta region in the northwest of Italy.

Italian Pro Tour is the promoter of the Nazionale Open, with the support of Banca Generali Private (Title Sponsor); BMW (Main Sponsor); Kappa (Official Supplier), Leaseplan (Official Supplier), Dailies Total 1 (Official Supplier).

 

Final results: click here

Tournament website : click here

 

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26th July 2019 | Alps Tour Golf

Uli Weinhandl Soars Into The Lead

July 26th, 2019 – Rome, Italy – In a closely fought, exciting second day at the Golf Nazionale, the experienced Alps Tour player, Uli Weinhandl from Austria, soared up the leader board of the Nazionale Open to take first place with a magnificent -8 (64) for the day.

It was truly the performance of the day as Weinhandl carded 8 birdies and not a single bogey. His combination of aggressive and defensive play certainly paid off. And the key to his game today?

Uli : “I played really well. Everything is good when you shoot a 64 on such a tough course. I played solid from tee to green and my short game was really sharp. I chipped like I had total control and my putting was good. That was the key to my round.”

Weinhandl was not unduly affected by the high temperatures and just made a couple of adjustments in his choice of clubs compared to yesterday because the wind had picked up today. He was also enthusiastic about the Golf Nazionale course:

Uli: “It’s a great course. In terms of design, it’s probably the best course we’ve played this year. You can’t relax on any of the holes. You have to hit good shots off the tee and into the greens. If you miss a shot, most of the time you lose the ball. If you’re a little off, you can shoot high numbers.”

In second place at a -7 (137) for the two first rounds, Teremoana Beaucousin from France entered the clubhouse in the lead but was nudged off the podium by Weinhadl who was playing four flights behind him. With a bogey and two birdies on the front and back nine, Beaucousin carded a -2 (70) for the day.  Not as strong a performance as yesterday where he scored -5 (67) but more than enough to keep him in contention.

Teremoana: “There was a lot of wind today, the greens were really firm and it was very hot, so it was difficult to put the ball near to the pin. This course requires care on the tee-off with some difficult angles and a lot of rough waiting for stray shots. I’m happy with my round today and will continue with the same strategy tomorrow, that is not taking too many risks and avoiding bogeys a much as possible.”

Yesterday’s leader, Enrico Di Nitto from Italy, dropped back to third place with a +1 (73) for the day leaving him at -6 (138) for the two rounds. Unfortunately, the birdies failed to drop as regularly as yesterday for Di Nitto with just one on each nine whilst three bogeys on the back nine nibbled his lead away.

In joint third place at -5 (139) over the two days are Englishman Ben Amor and Giovanni Cravioli from Italy.  Amor carded a par round (72) for the day to stay at the same score as yesterday whilst Cravioli did -1 (71) to move up one stroke.

Hot on their heels at -4 (140) is the Italian, Michele Ortolani, who fired seven birdies for a solid -6 (66) for the day. Joining him is Frenchman Pierre Pineau who shot a bogey-free -5 (67) and five birdies. The Italian amateur, Takayuki A Matsui had an impressive seven birdy -4 (68) to complete the third-place trio.

Two Italians round off the top ten. Federico Maccario remains there in joint fourth place at -3 (141). Despite four birdies, his two bogeys and a double bogey on the 15th par 5 hole kept him at par for the day. The amateur player, Jacopo Albertoni, completes the list after a -4 (68) today.

After the cut at + 4 (148),  a total of 60 players , 47 professionals and 13 amateurs will tee off tomorrow at 7:30 am for the final round.

Italian Pro Tour is the promoter of the Nazionale Open, with the support of Banca Generali Private (Title Sponsor); BMW (Main Sponsor); Kappa (Official Supplier), Leaseplan (Official Supplier), Dailies Total 1 (Official Supplier).

Second round results: click here

Tournament website : click here


25th July 2019 | Alps Tour Golf

-7 Puts Enrico Di Nitto On Top

July 25th, 2019 – Rome, Italy – In the Latium countryside at the Golf Nazionale, teeing off from the tenth, Enrico di Nitto from Italy finished the day at the top of the leader board of the Nazionale Open with a -7 (65).

Di Nitto attacked the first nine in style with four birdies and an eagle for a 30 (-6) for his opening salvo.

Enrico: “I started the round really well with three birdies in a row on the first three holes which gave me real motivation for the round”.

Di Nitto struggled a little on the back nine with a bogey on the second hole par 4 then continued with pars before holing two more birdies on the 15th and 16th to card a 35 (-1). However, overall, he was satisfied with his performance:

Enrico: “I played really well today. It would have been nice to hole a couple more putts on the back nine but I’m very happy with my result”.

Di Nitto’s lead keeps him on target for his stated of aim of finishing in the top five at the end of the Alps Tour 2019 season. He is currently fifth on the Order of Merit.

Completing the top ten of Day One are three trios of players.

In second place, two strokes behind at -5 (67) is the French player, Teremoana Beaucousin who also had a front nine 30 (-6). But three bogeys on the back nine ate away at his advantage despite an additional two birdies. Beaucousin has had 5 top ten finishes, in this, his second season on the Alps Tour. Alongside him at -5 is the rookie, Ben Amor from England who carded a 33 (-3) and a 34 (-2).  Joining the two professionals tied for second place is the Italian amateur, Gregorio de Leo.

In the third slot at -4 (68) are two rookies. The Portuguese player, Miguel Gaspar, who will be looking to improve on his top result twelfth place so far this season and move up some precious slots from 53rd on the Order of Merit and Giovanni Cravioli from Italy. Alongside them is the Italian amateur player Andrea Romano.

And rounding off the top ten at -3 (69) are two more Italians, the experienced Federico Maccario, currently 8th on the OofM and the amateur Niccolo’ Agugiaro. The Swiss rookie, Mathias Eggenburger, showing the same fine form he demonstrated at the recent Fred Olsen Alps de Gomera, completes the trio.

Extremely hot weather conditions made the already tough course even more trying for the players with temperatures reaching a high of 36°C. The forecast promises little relief for tomorrow with morning temperatures at 28°C when tee off starts at 7:30 a.m.

Italian Pro Tour is the promoter of the Nazionale Open, with the support of Banca Generali Private (Title Sponsor); BMW (Main Sponsor); Kappa (Official Supplier), Leaseplan (Official Supplier), Dailies Total 1 (Official Supplier).

First round results: click here

Tournament website : click here

Stay tuned! www.alpstourgolf.com and the app « Alps Tour Golf » (on App Store for iOS devices and Play Store for Android) will keep you updated on every news about Alps Tour.

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22nd July 2019 | Alps Tour Golf

Italy, here we come!

July 22nd, 2019 – Rome, Italy – Italy will host the final two tournaments of the 2019 Alps Tour season prior to the Grand Final. The second to last tournament will be held at the Golf Nazionale, a first at this scenic location. Situated 60 kilometres to the north west of Rome, is not only considered one of the best courses in Italy but also one of the toughest.

Opened in 1990, it hosted the 1991 World Cup of Golf and numerous national and European tournaments since. It is the course of the Italian Golf Federation, home of the National Golf School and is also the venue for the yearly PGAI (Professional Golfers’ Association of Italy) selections.

The Alps Tour players will be looking to maximise their points as they jostle for qualifying positions, be it for next years Alps Tour, the Challenge Tour or Stage 2 of the European Tour Qualifying School.

The Italian players will be out in force on their home turf. The Italian winners on the tour this year, Edoardo Lipparelli victor at the Open de Saint Francois Region Guadeloupe winner and currently second on the Order of Merit, Luca Cianchetti, winner of the Katameya Dunes Open, and Lorenzo Scalise winner of the New Giza Open are among the 60-odd Italian players currently entered.

But the Italians will have their work cut out for them. The Spaniard, Gonzalo Vicente Elena, fresh from his victory at the Fred Olsen Alps de La Gomera in the Canary Islands, will be looking for a repeat performance. He’s joined by his compatriot, Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, two-time winner this year at the Abruzzo Open Dailies Total 1 and the Memorial Giorgio Bordoni, and third on the OofM.

The Order of Merit, fourth-placed, Austrian, Timon Baltl, winner of the Gosser Open and fifth placed, Enrico Di Nitto from Italy would both like a win to consolidate their positions.

However, all the players will face a challenge on this Jim Fazio designed course. The 592 yard/541 metre first hole sets the tone. Numerous strategically placed bunkers threaten along the oak-lined fairways and dense rough awaits any wayward shots. Water comes into play on four or five occasions and the undulating greens are a true test of putting ability. After a series of dogleg par fours and long par three’s, the course finishes with a 545 yard/498 metre par 5.

The weather promises to be sunny with a gentle breeze, so it looks like the scene is set for an thrilling tournament in the idyllic setting of the Lazio countryside, surrounded by an impressive natural landscape and a spectacular view of the Cimini mountains in the background.

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