30th April 2016 | Alps Tour Golf

Wallace hold firm in Tunisia

England’s Matt Wallace, with friend Reece Phillips on the bag for the day, stayed strong in the wind to shot 71 for -10 total during Tunisian Open moving day. David Borda, Enrico Di Nitto and Robin Goger are 5 shots further, ties for second place.

It was tough again to day, more than yesterday less than tomorrow. That is the forecast for final round. Early starters enjoyed fair conditions. Italy’s Enrico Di Nitto signed for the score of the day, 67.

« I was sick all night, I only slept 2 hours. It proves that the less you expect, the more relax you are. Everything went well, I only had 28 putts are the results is there. I wish I will be as chilled tomorrow to confirm. »

Austria’s Robin Goger, 20, had wind during his last holes. He shot 69 and was very happy with his score despite a dropped shot on the 17th.

« I feel more prepared to the pro circuit. When I had my card on Challenge Tour two years ago thanks to good results in European Tour Q School, I was too young. Now I can handle the circuit and be efficient. And each day, I learn from my mistakes. »

Spain’s Borda was playing in the last group with Wallace. They both recorded a one under par card. The day was intense due to strong wind and they were satisfied with their scores.

« That was the goal today, to play under par. I didn’t play great but I shoot under par. I’ve been looking for that for a long time so I am really happy. But I putted a lot better today which I worked on yesterday so I can put a combination of those, the game of the first 2 days and the putting of today, I will be up there so I am looking forward to tomorrow. I have the same margin distance now so I did not lost any or gain a shot so I am just going into tomorrow and try to work really hard. »

From El Kantaoui
Agathe Séron

15th December 2015 | Alps Tour Golf

Daydou soared in La Cala

France’s Alexandre Daydou shot a 6 under par card on Asia course, -10 total, to lead the Q School Finale by 2 shots over fellow countryman Victor Perez.

Daydou, 20, scored flawless card on Asia course, six birdies to take command going into final round. The young man, born in La Réunion island, is one of the young French talented amateurs. He came in Spain with one goal, gain a full Alps Tour category for 2016.

« My game plan was simple and I stuck to it. I worked on it with my coach, Renaud Gris. Here, you have to be careful with tee shots and that was my routine for these past 2 rounds. I kept of targeting the safe places on fairways to have good angles to hit the greens.

Most of the time, I did not hit the driver and I have to admit it was a good thing because I am so sick, sinusitis, that I would not have been able to finish my round. »

On his toes, Victor Perez, 23 year old from Tarbes, South of France. He graduated from University of New Mexico last June and had a win there as a freshman. He came back to Europe as he just missed by one shot the Canadian Tour card during Q School and is delighted to be play to play well in La Cala.

« My game was very solid on my first nine, from 10th to 18th. Pins positions were difficult on the 17th and 18th so I did not go for them. From the first hole of my back nine, I have admit a little lack of focusing, same rythm of play, warm temperature, I saved 2 pars on holes 3 and 4. Then I had a nice eagle on the 5th then erased by a double bogey on the next hole, a bad bounce. But all in all a nice day and as I played first stage, I am getting to know Asia course pretty well now. »

Spain’s Roberto Sebastian -7 total and Javier Gallegos -6, are respectively 3rd and 4th, one shot further, a group of 4 players tie for 5th place, England’s Ben Wheeler, Spain’s Gonzalo Gancedo and Italy’s Nicholas De Pedrazzi (am) and Federico Colombo.

The cut felt at exactly 65 players at +4. The youngest player of the field, Austria’s Laurids Lohr, 16, missed by only one.

From La Cala
Agathe Séron

29th April 2015 | Alps Tour Golf

Lucquin and Billot, a 18 year friendship

European Tour winner Jeff Lucquin and Jean-Nicolas Billot “Bib”, a friendship born in 1997 after Jeff won the semi-finale of Junior French Championship on 20th green.

European Tour winner Jeff Lucquin and Jean-Nicolas Billot “Bib” (c) Tristan Jones

European Tour winner Jeff Lucquin and Jean-Nicolas Billot “Bib”, a friendship born in 1997 after Jeff won the semi-finale of Junior French Championship on 20th green.

Jean-Nicolas Billot and Jeff Lucquin are both born in 1978. They first met in 1997 when they had to play against each other on the Albatros course of Golf National, host of 2018 Ryder Cup.

“We had a great day” said Billot. “Jeff was leading 1 up teeing the 18th but he did not play well” Lucquin recalled “Yes, drive in the water, then again so I told him, – Ok, let’s go to the first hole – We did not finish the 18th. I finally won the par 3 second hole but I did not jump to celebrate my win, we just hug and he told me that I really have to win the finale, which I did”

Billot added “In 1997, no mobile phone and I had to leave, I could not be there for the finale. So I gave him a phone card with some credit and I asked him to call me to tell me the results. He hold a 20 meter putt on the 34th hole and did it!”

Jeff Lucquin is a former European Tour player, he played 8 full season from 2003 after getting graduate from Challenge Tour. A wrist injury stopped his career in 2011 and he is back to competition with the goal to recover his full rights on main Tour. Lucquin won the Omega European Masters in Crans sur Sierre in 2008 defeating in a play off current World Number One Rory McIlroy after first extra hole.

“The Alps Tour players are really better than 10 years ago. The level of game has improved a lot and even if the course this week is difficult, I am sure one of them will score 6 or 7 under. They hit longer too and as I do. Today I played my practise round with 2 young players and we had the same distance but yesterday I played with Matt Pavon, there is a football pitch between my ball and his!”

The inaugural Tunisian Open Golf takes place in El Kantouai golf course. The composite 18 holes are the same as the last Tunisian Open on European Tour schedule in 1985 won by England’s Stephen Bennet with -3 total.

From El Kantaoui
Agathe Séron

3rd April 2015 | Alps Tour Golf

Legarrea surged thanks to 61

Spain's Jesus Legarrea lighted the course on fire with 9 birdies and one eagle to sign for the course record 61, -11. French trio will chase him tomorrow.

Spain’s Jesus Legarrea (c) Tristan Jones

Spain’s Jesus Legarrea shot the lowest score in Alps Tour history and in his life. The 27 year old player from Elso fired amazing 61, 11 under par to lead the Alps de Las Catillas 2015.

Once again, the course of Golf Valdeluz was punished by Alps Tour players and the cut after 2 rounds is -6, the lowest ever on Alps Tour and another nice chapter is about to be written as Javier Ballesteros made his first cut as pro.

Legarrea has an day like in a dream, first nine, from the 10th, 3 under and he came back to the club house in 28 shots.

“I played really well, it is my first tournament since six months as I had a shoulder injury. It is a very special round, this is the lowest round in my life. The course is not very difficult nad the greens are very nice so if you are putting well it can make the difference.

I am not making any plans, the goal is to go back at the hotel, to relax and play tomorrow. I am only thinking about the next day.”

A French trio will be on the Spanish toes just 2 shots back of the lead. Among them, Open de la Mirabelle d’or 2014, Jean-Pierre Verselin.

“My putting was really solid, I never missed under 2 meters and my driving was great as well. On this golf course on some holes, the strategy is to hit as far as possible and on some others, I preferred to have a full wedge cause the greens are not receptive so it was not easy to stop the ball. For tomorrow, I had not score goal but I assume any player could shoot 8 or 9 under so the winning score should be very low.”

Baptiste Chapellan is a former Challenge Tour member but he did not win since 2009, the year he had finished in Alps Tour top 5. He scored 63, the second best score of the day.

“I broke my hand and I had 3 months off. I started playing on the 16th of March so I have no expectation. I played pretty much the same as yesterday but I putted better. I stayed patient. I will try to play smart because on this course, no need to hit the drive every hole cause if you are on the wrong side of the green, you are dead. No plan for tomorrow and we will see.

The third Frenchman in position to challenge Legarrea is rookie Franck Daux. The 23 year old player is the only one on provisonnal podium not to have recorded a win as pro. Last big win as amateur was the “Lignel” individual score.

“Today, I drove really well and I always had a chance to go for the greens. The course is short so many second shot with wedge so a lots of putts under 5 meters. I got the pace of the greens very early in the tournament. I am putting really well and I had the chance to hole twice about 5 meters for eagle on pars 5 so it was great. And I really had a nice finish as I three putted the 16th but I holed about 7 meters on both 17th and 18th so it was nice.”

From Valedeluz
Agathe Séron

4th March 2015 | Alps Tour Golf

Cooley Pharaoh in Cairo

Andrew Cooley won his fourth title on Egypt soil in 3 years times. He signed for final 67 to lift the Dreamland Pyramids Open 2015 two shots clear of France's Matthieu Pavon.

Andrew Cooley (c) Agathe Séron

England’s Andrew Cooley is really the Alps Tour Pharaoh. He won his fourth title in Egypt, the Dreamland Pyramids Open thanks to final 67. He already won twice in 2013 and once last year.

He teed off one shot behind the overnight leaders Marguery and De Stefani. His start was the best he could have imagined as he birdied the first three holes.

“Well, I did not play very well last week but I had some good tips of Tom Sherreard and he really helped me out to get some good feelings on the range this morning and it kind of pay off.
Starting the round with three birdies did not mean it was my day but I knew I had to keep going, 3 wasn’t to be enough but that was the start I needed.”

He dug his advantage with brilliant and kind of lucky shot. On the 9th, after amazing drive, the few spectators cheered loudly an eagle two. He went -10 when closest competitor Raphaël Marguery was -6.

“I hit a good drive but it did not finish in a easy spot, I thought it was short of the bunker but I hit it hard enough to get over. It is your day when that kind of thing happens and I holed about 40 yards for eagle two, pretty fortunate.”

Despite his victories, Cooley did not manage to get his card to play on Challenge Tour. He confessed his game has to be more regular.

“Last year I had a wrist injury when we had sort of 5 or 6 tournaments close together, that wasn’t ideal. I need to be more consistent really. I don’t really have a consistent game, it is all or nothing but if I could just try get that consistency through the year hopefully pick up another win if I do play well.”

France’s Matthieu Pavon fired the best score of the day 66 to finish at second place.

“I am happy because it has been 3 weeks that I was playing well but my putting was very poor. But on the 10th hole, I holed about 8 meters and it was like a discloser and a relief. Thereafter, I holed some other putts and I had a nice round.”

Pavon leads the Alps Order of Merit after this winter series in Egypt. His compatriot Alexandre Widemann is second, England’s Andrew Cooley and Tom Shadbolt are respectively third and fourth and Frenchman Léo Lespinasse is a fifth place.

From Cairo
Agathe Séron

2nd March 2015 | Alps Tour Golf

Colombo back in business


Federico Colombo (c) Agathe Séron

Italy’s Federico Colombo produced great score today signing for 67, -5 at Dreamland Pyramids Open opening round.

Colombo is a former European Tour player. He managed to graduate to European Tour during Q School as he had just turned pro. After 3 years on Challenge Tour and 18 months on European Tour, the 27 year old player from Guissano is on Alps Tour to rebuild his swing and game.

“This is the beginning of the season. I have been working hard during the winter. I just wanted to see where was my game. The first two tournaments I did not play that well but I had good feelings. My putting was not the good but I liked the greens this week.”

“My game is getting better. I had good feeling today. At the beginning of the round I struggled a little but on the back nine I had a couple of good recoveries and I made a few good putts for birdies and especially at the end, I holed two birdies on the last two holes.”

Being asked about his feelings after loosing his card on Challenge Tour, the young man confessed.

“It was hard. I changed my coach and I started a completely new work middle of last year but all these things takes time to get better. The game is getting better as it was like 2 or 3 years ago. The problem was more the long game but at the end it was more psychologically.”

I did not come here with any expectation. I am still working a lot on my game and I am just trying to get my confidence back. I am not looking for good results or anything, but I know it is going to come.”

Colombo is not the only Italian players having done well today. A group of 4 players are only 2 shots back of the lead. Among them, England’s Liam Harper and Colombo’s compatriots Joon Kim, Federico Maccario and Luca Fenoglio.

From Cairo
Agathe Séron

19th February 2015 | Alps Tour Golf

Elissalde snatches Egyptian trophy


Thomas Elissalde (c) Agathe Séron 2014

France’s Thomas Elissalde won his second Alps Tour title as he finish -9 at Red Sea El Ein Bay Open. In a very windy day, his compatriot Matthieu Pavon is one shot back. Frenchman Léo Lespinasse and Spain’s Juan Antonio Bragulat share third place with -6 total.

Elissalde is one of the 2014 Alps Tour graduates. He was leading since the first round and kept his hands on the trophy until the end.

“It was not windy this morning but in one blink of an eye, it became freezy with strong gusts. The temperature felt around 10° C and it was pretty much like home! Teeing of I just decided to try to do a good round, to be patient and to play my game.”

“I have been working hard this winter on technical points to hit the ball longer from the tee and I was really looking forward to testing it in a tournament to see if I was able to drive this way under pressure. It has worked. As the weather this winter in Biarritz was not that great , I focused on long game and fitness to improve tonic effect in my swing. I hit my driver longer. My irons are still the same but still, driving is important.”

“When I left the 15th green, I saw that Matthieu was tie with me. Unfortunately, I hit a very poor shot on the 16th and there was no chance that I did a par. I holed a nice putt for birdie on the 17th, 5 meters and when I was walking the last fairway, I’ve seen that Mat was -8 so I played my wedge aiming the middle of the green to do par and win.”

“A win is a win and even if Alps Tour is not my circuit anymore, I felt pressure and I am happy I managed to deal with.”

Quotes Agathe Séron

17th December 2014 | Alps Tour Golf

Gornik king of wind

Slovenia's Tom Gornik won the Q school final in La Cala thanks to great margin after 2 rounds. He battled hard in the wind to score 76 today for -4 total.

Slovenia’s Tim Gornik (c) Agathe Séron

Slovenia’s Tim Gornik won the Q school final in La Cala thanks to great margin after 2 rounds. He battled hard in the wind to score 76 today for -4 total. His St Andrews trophy team mate, Holland’s Darius Van Driel tried to catch up with him but he eventually finished runner-up, 3 shots back.

The wind was incredibly strong today. Balls did not move by themselves on the greens but every single shot from tee to green was a fight against the element or better, a game of patience. Many high figures were recorded and only one player shot under par, England’s Harry Casey, with one under. He finished at third place tie with experimented Ivo Giner and former European Tour player Alexandre Kaleka.

“On the 11th par 3, during the first round I hit a 8 iron and today it was a 3 iron and I ended short of the green” said a rookie. Same opinion for the winner.

“It was so tough today, the weather forecast was not so bad. It was a 4 or 5 club wind. It became less crazy at the very end, from the 15th but still. My goal today was to shot under par but it was so difficult. I had a big advantage and it is difficult to know what to do. I saw on a leaderboard that Darius was doing well. It was funny because we played a lot together last year. He hit the ball very straight and this is exactly the kind of course which suit his game. But I am happy with the win.”

The cut for category 6 felt at +10, 37 players from 11 different countries obtained the precious “licence to play”. Players ranked from 38th place to 68th will have a partial category.

The first three events of the year will take place in Egypt from 15th of February to the 4th of March. Full schedule will be announced before Christmas.

From La Cala
Agathe Séron

16th December 2014 | Alps Tour Golf

Gornik shines in La Cala

Sloveny's Tim Gornik takes a easy lead going into the last round of the Q School Final. The 23 year old player shot 65 after first round 70 and his closest competitors are 5 shots back.

Slovenia’s Tim Gornik

Slovenia’s Tim Gornik takes a easy lead going into the last round of the Q School Final. The 23 year old player shot 65 after first round 70 and his closest competitors are 5 shots back.

Gornik is a Duke University alumni and turned pro last September.

“I played golf 4 years for Duke University. I had played the Q School last year and I missed the cut by one so I decided to stay amateur one more year. I knew the Asia course, not the Europa one. I did not plan to shoot so low but I knew that if you could hit the fairways there are a lot of wedges to the holes.”

“Usually I hit a lot of fairways and greens but I am off and on with my putting but today it kind of clicked. I missed some but I made a lot obviously and I only missed one green today.”

“The goal when I turned pro last September is to play on the European Tour. I made the Stage 1 of European Tour but I failed to qualify for the final. I knew the Alps Tour because I am friend with Matjaz Gojcic and I played as few events on invitations. It is a good opportunity to avoid the Stage 1 of Q school and finishing in the top 5 offers a Challenge Tour category, that is definitely the goal.”

A pack of six players will challenge the leader and try to overpass him during last round. Among them, former European Tour player, France’s Alexandre Kaleka and Alps Tour 2009 winner, Italy’s Andrea Perrino.

The cut felt at +6 and 68 players will try to join or stay in top 35 for full 2015 Alps Tour category.

At La Cala
Agathe Séron

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