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.

 

Results: click here

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24th February 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Consistent Robinson Moves to First

Suez (Egypt), February 24, 2020 – After another round of solid play, the English player, Sam Robinson, moved to the top of the leader board at 130 (-14) after the second round of the Red Sea Little Venice Open at Sokhna Golf Club.

Two consecutive rounds of -7 (65) saw Robinson move from yesterday’s joint second place to first position and looking forward to tomorrow’s final round:

“Two consistent rounds. I pitched it great, chipped it great and putted great. Tee to green perhaps not my best by far but I’ve managed the game well and fortunately hit it in the right place and missed in the right place. It’s fantastic to be back playing again.”

Robinson, an experienced professional golfer, has been absent from the Alps Tour full-time since 2010 which he jokingly referred to as a “ten-year sabbatical”. A back injury and surgery in 2012 along with a new daughter kept him in the UK where he taught and played some tournaments. Back to playing full-time since August 2019, his season is off to a great start with a second position at last week’s Ein Bay Open and then, today’s leader board position.

Robinson teed off from the 10th early this morning and had three birdies going out followed by 5 birdies coming in and just one bogey on his card.

Two shots behind him at 132 (-12) is Jordi Garcia Del Moral from Spain who maintains his second-place position from yesterday’s round. He started today from the 1st tee and birdied the par 4 and followed up with straight pars through hole 6 then another birdie. A bogey on the par 3, 8th was immediately followed by another birdie on the 9th. Three more birdies and pars on the back nine saw him at -5 (67) for the day.

In joint third place at 133 (-11) are Nicolas Platret from France, Mathias Eggenberger from Switzerland, both in their second season on the Alps Tour. They both carded -6 (66) for the day. They are joined by the Italian rookie, Stefano Mazzoli, who had a perfect opening hole when he eagled the par 4, 1st hole and finished with a -5 (67).

The Irishman, Jonathan Yates, and the two French players, Thomas Le Berre and the amateur player, Theo Brizard are in joint sixth place at 134 (-10) after 36 holes. Brizard is the only amateur to have made the cut.

Yesterday’s leader, Giulio Castagnara, slipped back to 137 (-7) but comfortably made the cut at  140 (-4). He was among the 47 players heading into the  last round, of which 46 are professionals and one, an amateur.

Tees 1 and 10 will see the third and final 18 holes tee off at 7:45 am with the last flights leaving at 8:55 am local time. After some probable showers tonight , the weather should be warm and partly cloudy for the conclusion of the tournament.

 

Results: click here

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23rd February 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Castagnara Claims Round 1 Lead

Suez (Egypt), February 23, 2020 – Coming into the clubhouse at the end of the first round of the Red Sea Little Venice Open with a -8 (64), the Italian player, Giulio Castagnara heads the leader board here at Sokhna Golf Club in Egypt.

Castagnara, in his second season on the Alps Tour had a stunning front nine of -5 (31):

 “The weather was great. Sunny and just a little wind. Perfect conditions.  I really like the course and was able to get off to a good start with a birdie on the first.”

His birdie on the par 4, hole N°1 was followed by 4 more going out and three more coming in for -3 (33) and not a single bogey in sight. So, what worked for him today? :

“I really hit the ball solid. Gave myself a lot of opportunities and then of course made a lot of putts. Today was a great round. I finished ninth at the Ein Bay Open last week which was a good start to the year and nice to see results right away after all the hard work put in over the winter. Hopefully I can keep this up over the next couple of days.”

Right behind him on -7 (65) are three more experienced Alps Tour players. Among them his fellow countryman, Michele Ortolani. He teed off from the 10th and also started with a birdie. He had two more on the outward nine but switched into overdrive at the start of the back nine, scoring 4 birdies in a row and then straight pars to finish.

He’s joined by the Spaniard, Jordi Garcia Del Moral, also off from the 10th tee, who carded four birdies going out plus one bogey but settled into a good rhythm on the inward nine with four more birdies and pars to finish.

Alongside him is Sam Robinson from England who teed off from the first and hit four birdies going out. The back nine saw three more birdies before a lone bogey at the par 4 hole 15. Robinson, however, remedied that with an eagle on the 17th hole par 5.

It looks like being a hard-fought tournament because after the top four on the leader board there is a pack of eight players at -6 (66) and then nine players at -5 (67).

And the eagles were flying today at the Sokhna Golf Club on Courses B & C. Sam Robinson was one of four players to score an eagle on the 17th (Benjamin Grimal, Sebastien Gandon, Jeong Weon Ko). Two other par 5’s, the 7th saw four (Jonathan Yates, Antoine Santarelli, Shaun Jones, Javier Ballesteros) and the 3rd had one eagle (Tomas Santos Silva). Another two were achieved on the par 4 10th (Tomas Bessa Guimaraes, Piers Berrington).

Last week’s winner of the Ein Bay Open, the Dutch player, Lars Keunen, is sitting at -2 (70) after 18 holes.

The second round tees off at 7:00 am local time tomorrow from tees 1 and 10. The forecast is for the day to be partly sunny but with the possibility of a couple of showers in the afternoon.

 

Results: click here

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20th February 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Keunen Captures the Ein Bay Open Title

Suez (Egypt), February 20, 2020 – The Dutchman, Lars Keunen, continued his week of steady golf to win the Ein Bay Open 2020 here at Sokhna Golf Club with a -12 (204) for the 54 holes.

This is his third season on the Alps Tour but his first win since turning professional. His previous best was second position in March 2019, again in Egypt, at the New Giza Open.

He finished the first round in third place then moved up to second after 36 holes and then took the first place today, four points clear of the nearest contender. Obviously thrilled to finally lift a trophy after a difficult 2019 season:

“I was just saying to some of the other guys that I missed the last six cuts. I started well last season but then went down towards the end. But the last couple of months I’ve been getting better.”

He also stated that he had changed a lot of things in his game:

“I’ve never hit a fade in my life but now I hit them all the time. I’m also practicing better and believe that if I practice well then, the results will come by themselves. “

And indeed, they did today. With a bogey-free round and four birdies he shot a 68 (-4) for the day. His play was pretty regular over the three rounds with a first round 66 (-6) without a bogey on the horizon and a second round 70 (-2) where he counter-balanced his 3 bogeys with four birdies and an eagle.

The English player, Sam Robinson, roared up the score board today moving to joint second place from fifteenth. With 5 birdies, an eagle on the par 5 15th and just one bogey he came into the clubhouse with -8 (208) for the tournament after an excellent 66 (-6) today.

He is joined by Tomas Santos Silva from Portugal, also with -8 (208). Having scored par 72 today, he maintained his position from yesterday.

In fourth place is rookie Jeong Weon Ko. The French player was joint leader after day one and his two succeeding rounds of par 72 saw him finish at –7 (209).

Vitor Londot Lopes from Portugal takes the fifth place with -6 (210) after also shooting a 66 (-6) today which rocketed him up from yesterday’s twenty-third place.

In joint sixth place at -5 (211) are the two Spanish players Victor Pastor Rufian, yesterday’s leader and Angel Hidalgo Portillo.

The players now have just two days before the next tournament, the Red Sea Little Venice Open which starts on 23rd February. This is also taking place here at Sokhna Golf Club but on Courses B & C. They play a little shorter, 6641 yards/6073 metres, than the Ein Bay Open A & B combination, 6963 yards/6367 metres.

With the weather forecast to continue in the same vein, warm and sunny, the second tournament of the season looks set to be off to a great start.

 

Results: click here

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22nd December 2019 | Alps Tour Golf

Bradley Bawden Wins 2019 Q School

Malaga (Spain), December 22, 2019 – The sun finally returned to the Costa del Sol allowing the players to finish the 36 holes of the Final Stage of the Alps Tour 2019 Qualifying School here at La Cala Resort. And the sun was obviously smiling on Bradley Bawden, the English player from Essex, who held onto his lead from the first round and finished top of the leader-board at -9 (134).

Bawden finished Round 1 at -8 (63) on the America course on Thursday and completed the tournament with a -1 (71) today on the Asia course. He described the fact that it took three days to finish the last round due to the meteorological conditions as “mentally challenging” but explained: “Being from England I’ve got lots of experience with bad weather so its nothing I haven’t seen before. You may get some bad breaks, but you just need to stay positive. Its all about staying strong mentally”.

And Bawden did just that with two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine for a par 36 over the first two days of the round when weather conditions were at their worst and three birdies and 2 bogeys on the back nine today for a -1 (35). His win earns him full membership (category 6) for the 2020 Alps Tour.

Just behind him at -8 (135) for the 2 rounds was the Portuguese player, Tomas Bessa Guimaraes. This was his second Q School having finished 80th last year and having played seven out of the sixteen 2019 Alps Tour tournaments. His final round on the America course started with a +2 (37) as a single and double bogey effectively cancelled out his one birdie of the outward nine. However, he bounded back on the inward nine with three birdies and not a single bogey in sight for a -3 (33).

Three players tied for third position at -6 (137). The former European Tour and Challenge Tour player, Edouard Espana from France, had said his aim was to finish in the top 35 at the Q School. Mission accomplished and we look forward to seeing him back on the Alps Tour in 2020. Alongside him was Ryan Lumsden from Scotland who obviously handled the familiar bad weather conditions with a -4 (67) on the America course for his second round after his -3 (69) on the Asia course. Joining him is the English amateur, Laurie Owen who mirrored his GB compatriot’s results for the two rounds.

Rounding out the top ten finishers were four players tied in sixth position at -6 (137) Daniel Berna Manzanares from Spain, Harrison Woan from England, Augustin Hole from France and Kevin Esteve from Andorra. Whilst at -5 (138) in tenth position were three players, Blaire McKeithen from the USA, Tiago Cruz from Portugal, and Victor Pastor Ruffian from Spain.

The final qualifying score was par (143) with 10 players tied at 32nd place for a total of 41 achieving their full membership for the coming Alps Tour season, of which 32 are professionals and 9 are amateurs.

The official 2020 Alps Tour season kicks off in Egypt with the Winter Series Ein Bay Open from 18th to 20th February followed by the Red Sea Little Venice Open from 23rd to 25th February both at Sokhna Golf Club in Egypt.

Looking forward to another year of great golf from the rising stars on the Alps Tour!

 

Results Final Stage 2019 Qualifying School: click here

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25th February 2019 | Alps Tour Golf

Di Nitto signs a bogey-free 65 to lead by 2 after first round

Golf feels much easier when, at the end of the day, you only have 24 putts on your scorecard; that’s what happened to Italian Enrico Di Nitto, 26, the leader after the first round of the Red Sea Little Venice Open, the second tournament of the 2019 Alps Tour season, taking place on beautiful Sokhna Golf Club in Egypt.

Di Nitto, 26, from Rome, carded 7 birdies and no bogeys on the A+B courses, a different combination than the course played for Ein Bay Open, which was on B+C : « This one is a bit more difficult I think », said Di Nitto, who was playing in the morning with warm temperatures and some wind, both rising up during the afternoon (peaks of 25 degrees and gusts at 25 km/h). « Like the other course, it is in very good conditions, and today we had fast greens and the wind made it even more interesting and challenging. I started (from hole 11) with very good driving and decent irons, and when the tee shots started to fail a little, I could react with good irons, and lots of one-putts, too – most of them from close, and one from 12 meters – which was a really nice boost! ».

On second place, with a 67 (-5), two strokes more than the leader, stands Irishman Jonathan Yates – who was tied second in the previous tournament. Six birdies in his card, and a single bogey – on hole 4, a par 3, 178 meters long which is actually rated as the second most difficult hole on the course today, with just 3 birdies, 44 bogeys and 6 double bogeys or worse.

On third place, three players are tied at 68, minus 4 : Englishman Ben Wheeler, 26 (seven birdies and two bogeys) ; Tomas Santos Silva from Portugal, 26 (five birdies and one bogey); and Lars Keunen, 22, from The Netherlands (six birdies and two bogeys).

For tomorrow, the weather forecast indicates a peak of 19 degrees, and a little less wind, at 20 km/h.

Results 1st round

Starting times 2nd round

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21st February 2019 | Alps Tour Golf

Lacroix seals his first win as a pro in wire-to-wire fashion

The first winner of the 2019 season corresponds exactly to the profile of the ideal Alps Tour player: Frederic Lacroix is a young, gifted golfer who decided to start his professional career building up some experience on our satellite tour, looking to soon progress to Challenge and European Tours.

On the pristine fairways of the Sokhna Golf Club B&C courses, in perfect weather conditions, Lacroix showed an uncommon coolness for a rookie playing – and leading from the start – his first tournament as a pro.

He passed from co-leading on the first day at minus 6, to be sole leader in the second round with -11 and finally winning with a total of -15, carding only 3 bogeys in 54 holes, 14 birdies and 2 eagles. Lacroix ended four strokes clear of young Spaniard Manuel Elvira, 22 – author of the best card of the final round, 65 (-7) – and Irishman Jonathan Yates, 25. On fourth place, three players were tied at -10 : Frenchman Teremoana Beaucousin, 24 ; Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, 29 ; and Italian Federico Maccario, 24.

« My goal was winning one of the tournaments of the Winter Series, and I worked for that ; and after the first round I told myself that it was possible, and I could have the chance right here. I never lost my confidence during the final round, although I did hit some really bad shot, especially on the back nine, but I was able to recover well ». This must have been possible also thanks to the preparation Lacroix went through during the last 3 years with coach Frank Lorenzo-Vera (brother of European Tour player Mike) for the game, but also the work done in the gym with a new trainer, and a positive attitude learned during the last year with a new mental coach: « all this seems to have given me the right tools that really worked well this week ».

Lacroix earned a cheque of 5.800 euros (out of a 40.000 euros prize money) and leads the ranking with 6.525 points.

Sokhna Golf Club will host also the second date of the Winter Series, the Red Sea Little Venice Open, starting next Monday 25th February on the A&B courses with the same prize money and same format : 120 players, 54 holes and cut after the second round for the top 40 pros and ties.

Results after 3rd round

Order of Merit

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20th February 2019 | Alps Tour Golf

Rookie Lacroix pulling ahead in Egypt

It is his first tournament as a professional, and he’s leading by one shot after the second round of the Ein Bay Open on Sokhna Golf Club, in Egypt, but Frederic Lacroix, 23, is still not completely satisfied with his game: after returning his card (a 67, which follows yesterday’s 66) late in the afternoon, he heads to the practice ground to refine some details.

With a total of minus 11, Lacroix is followed very closely by his French colleague Teremoana Beaucousin (66-68), 24, who was co-leader after the first round; in third place stands a duo of Italian players, Lorenzo Scalise, 23 – also a rookie among pros, like Lacroix – and Alessandro Grammatica, 29, author of the best round of the day, 65 (-7) – same score posted by Swiss Mathias Eggenberger, 27.

« I would like to work a little bit on my wedges and irons, just to keep in touch with the good sensations and be ready for tomorrow », said Lacroix, who represents the Racing Club La Boulie of Versailles, in France. « Today my game was not as smooth as yesterday, I’ve started with a birdie at 10th, but then I had some tough moments and a stupid bogey on 14th. I had a good reaction though, with three birdies in a row on holes 17, 18 and 1, and two more birdies on the two par 5s, holes 3 and 7. Tomorrow I need to do the same thing and try to go low, if I want to win; all the other competitors behind me have the same goal as me! ».

The cut fell at 141 (-3), leaving 44 players in the field to share the 40.000 euros prize money (5.800 euros for the winner).

Results after 2nd round

3rd round starting times

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21st February 2018 | Alps Tour Golf

Jack Singh Brar won maiden victory in Egypt

England’s Jack Singh Brar won the Red Sea Little Venice Open at the Sokhna Golf Club (Egypt) today with -15.

Entering the final round as the leader at -10, Singh Brar shot 6 birdies and one bogey to win his first professional tournament.

« It’s awesome to get my first professional win here in Egypt » 21-year-old Singh Brar said. « I turned pro in September so it’s good to get a win quite early on in my professional career » he added. « The main thing for me today was to get through the front nine because that’s where I struggled in the past few days. I was sort of cruising along when Zucchetti did well on the front nine, I could not get really anything going » he explained. « And then, on the way back, I got a couple of birdies in, got a few putts in and that seemed to seal the deal » he said.
« The best for me on the golf course is to chill out and have some fun » Singh Brar said.

Bernard Neumayer (Aut) finished in 2nd place overall (-10) and turned in the best card of the day (-6). « I had a great day, no bogeys,  it was a fantastic day for me. At the beginning, I played solid golf, missed no greens really, with just a few more putts in, I could have gotten a better result » Neumayer said.

Italy’s Federico Zucchetti, who became leader at some point during the day, finished the tournament in 3rd place (-9). « I am a little bit disappointed, I was playing really well the whole round until I made silly mistakes on holes 14 (bogey) and 15 (double bogey) » Zucchetti said. « I’m usually a very good putter and struggling with my long game so that was a little bit surprising this week to hit many greens but I missed too many putts. I’m happy with my long game but I’m sure that my short game will come around pretty quickly, I’m positive moving forward » he said.
« The 2 tournaments in Egypt were very well run » Zucchetti added « The resort is amazing. It was nice to get the season started in a warm place with good weather and I’m sure all the players enjoyed playing these two courses ».

« The people here are so friendly, we feel welcome » Neumayer said. « The courses and the weather are always good, I like to play here, it is my second year and the second time I finish in second place, I just love it to play here ».

Weather was overcast for most of the day. Temperatures were in the mid 20s degrees Celsius.

Jack Singh Brar is the new leader of the Order of Merit, the Alps Tour official season ranking.

Players of the Alps Tour will now head back to Europe for the Golf Nazionale Open in Rome on February 28th.


20th February 2018 | Alps Tour Golf

Jack Singh Brar took the lead of the Red Sea Little Venice Open

With the best score of the day, 65 (-7), England’s Jack Singh Brar took the lead of the Red Sea Little Venice Open at Sokhna Golf Club (Egypt) to enter the final round of the tournament on Wednesday, 10 under the par.

Singh Brar is 4 shots ahead of a group of 3 players : Piers Berrington (Eng), Benjamin Wheeler (Eng) and Paul Elissalde (Fra).

« Obviously the start was pretty good again, I started off with 4 birdies in a row » Singh Brar said. « And then I made a couple of mistakes in the back and then obviously, the hole-in-one at the top of the back 9 » he added. « I’m 4 ahead but I’m still going to have to play some good golf  because some of these boys are going to go for it I think. A lot can happen tomorrow, I just need to keep my head and hopefully, I will come up on top ».

Today was a record day at the Sokhna Golf Club. Three players shot each a hole-in-one : Jack Singh Brar, Adrien Pinguet and Ben Wheeler.

« I made a hole-in-one on the 9th hole » Ben Wheeler said. « I was pretty annoyed after the 8th hole, I did not birdie an easy par 5 so I was quite angry going on to the tee. It was a 190 yards in length which normally would be a 6 iron for me. But I was feeling a bit angry so I just thought I’d just smash a 7. So I smashed a 7 and it went in ! » Wheeler said. « We did not see it going in, we thought ‘oh that looks pretty good’ and we got down there and it was in the hole, it was very nice» he concluded.

Weather conditions were very good all day with warm temperatures and no wind.

A young talented Egyptian amateur from Alexandria Sporting Club, Issa Abou El Ela, made the cut (+1) and will tee off tomorrow for the final round of the tournament with 43 other players.

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