14th September 2023 | Alps Tour Golf
French Amateur Théo Boulet is in the lead after Round 1 in France.
Saint-Omer, September 14th 2023 – Twenty-year-old, French amateur Théo Boulet, leads the way after a bogey-free 6 under-par, 65 in the 1st round of the 2023 Hauts de France – Pas de Calais Golf Open. In 2nd place, only 1 stroke back after a bogey-free 5 under-par, the winner of the 2023 Aravell Golf Open by Creand, Italy’s Manfredi Manica. In 3rd place, the winner of the 2023 Gösser Open, Ireland’s Ronan Mullarney. Tied for 4th place a 3 under-par: Estonia’s Sander Aadusaar, Finland’s Eemil Alajarvi, England’s Jack Floydd, France’s Benjamin Kedochim and Netherland’s Lars Keunen.
The 2023 Hauts de France – Pas de Calais Golf Open is a co-sanctioned tournament between players from the Alps Tour and the Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS). The event is being played on the same course with alternating tee times between the Alps Tour players and LETAS players. There are 66 players competing from each tour for two different dedicated prize funds and, thus, trophies.
The Alps Tour players are playing the golf course as a 6182 meters par 71. The Ladies European Tour Access Series(LETAS) players are playing the golf course as a 5349 meters par 73.
The first round of the 2023 Hauts de France- Pas de Calais Golf Open, played at Aa Saint- Omer Golf Club in the Northwestern part of France, began at 8:15 am local time this morning from the 1st and 10th hole. Players were able to compete with perfect scoring and weather conditions throughout the entire first round, as there were beautiful sunny skies, a pleasant climate, and some light winds.
Round 1 Player Quotes
Twenty years old, French amateur Théo Boulet leads the field with a bogey-free 6 under-par, 65 after the 1st round of the 2023 Hauts de France- Pas de Calais Golf Open. He currently represents Golf de Chantilly and is still competing as an amateur in his 1st full season on the Alps Tour. He made 3 birdies on the front nine and 3 birdies on the back, including 2 birdies in his last 3 holes. After the round, Boulet was very satisfied with his 1st round: “I’m very happy with my 1st round. A lot of good things happened today. I putted extremely well today, and my long game was sharp too. I will try to keep it going tomorrow and hope to do even better. There is still a lot of golf left to be played, but I will keep my feet very grounded and keep improving.” When asked about his playing status, he “we will see what happens, but I would like to turn pro at the end of the year, I know I will be able to have a good category on the Alps Tour next season, but the objective will be to have a good playing status for next year.” Boulet made 2 birdies in his last three holes, and one of them occurred on the 16th hole where “I hit a wayward tee shot on the 16th hole, I found myself on the other fairway, it was difficult to get the good yardage as I had to do a bunch calculation. It could have gone both ways; a bad shot would have turned the score for the hole into at least a bogey, but a good shot would have been very rewarding. I hit a good shot, and the ball bounced the right way, I ended up 2.5 meters from the hole and made the putt. It was a very satisfying birdie and a good confidence booster. I’m looking forward to keeping it going tomorrow.”
Italy’s Manfredi Manica, who captured his 1st professional win at the 2023 Aravell Golf Open by Creand, finds himself in 3rdplace after the first round of the 2023 Hauts de France- Pas de Calais Golf Open with a bogey-free 5 under-par, 66. Manica is 27 years old, turned professional at the end of 2021, and currently represents Golf Nazionale. After his bogey-free round, Manica commented that, “the course is definitely playing easier than last year, it’s a bit softer and playing longer but on a lot of tee shots, the fact that the ball won’t roll out as much helps. Today was definitely a very positive start to the tournament.” He currently sits 11th in the Alps Tour Order of Merit rank and is looking to make a final move in the ranks but is trying to stay present in the moment, “fingers crossed, it’s definitely on my mind but let’s not say anything. There is still a lot of golf left to be played.” After the opening round, he planned to do some “light practice this afternoon, especially some putting, and then some rest before tomorrow.” Manica went on to add that he believes the key to capturing the win this week will be “your tee shots for sure if you can place them in the correct spots it can be a big advantage and then obviously putting. Those two together will make a difference on the scorecard for sure.”
The winner of the 31st Gösser Open, Ireland’s Ronan Mullarney who currently is 3rd in the Order of Merit rank, concludes the 1st round of the tournament in 3rd place with a 4 under-par, 67. He shot a bogey-free round with 3 birdies on the front nine and 1 birdie on the back. He previously had played in some events in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic began, but this is his 1stfull year on the Alps Tour. Mullarney turned professional in 2019 and competed in the 2022 Open Championship.
Sander Aadusaar from Estonia, concluded his first round with a 3 under-par, 68 and be in a 5-way tie for 4th place. During his round, he made 3 birdies on the front nine holes and 1 double bogey and 2 birdies on the back nine. He is 28 years old and represents Niitvalja Golf Club. Aadusaar found that it’s easier to make birdies on this golf course this year as, “the course is softer than last year, and I feel like it’s a bit easier to make birdies, however, I still have a double bogey on the card and I feel like it’s a course that can change very quickly so I want to stay patient and see what the next two rounds will bring.” He’s satisfied with how he played, “I’m hitting the ball well and gave myself chances. I’m trying to avoid making mistakes and sticky to the game plan.” Aadusaar believes that there won’t be too much difference in the scores today between the morning and afternoon wave as, “today was definitely a calm day, we didn’t have much wind at all so I don’t think there will be much difference between the 2 waves. Hopefully, tomorrow will be the same way.”
The 2023 Hauts de France- Pas de Calais Golf Open winner will earn €6,400 and 6,525 Order of Merit points.
In the LET Access Series event, Slovenia’s Katja Pogacar, 29 years old, is in the lead with a 6 under-par, 67. She has three top-10 finishes on tour this season, including a second place at the Montauban Ladies Open in June. Pogacar has made every cut of the tournaments she participated in this season and currently is 8th on the LETAS Order of Merit rank.
After her round, Pogacar commented, “Today was a solid round, I did make some mistakes, but I bounced back easily. I’m happy with the long putt for par on the 13th. I really like the course as it reminds me of my home course, and I feel like I know what to do in certain situations. It’s also really fun to play similar golf to the guys.”
In the Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS) players field, there are 66 players represented. They are competing for LETAS Order of Merit points and their prize fund, which is set at € 40.000. After the round tomorrow, a cut will be made to the top 30 professional players and ties.
The second round of the 2023 Hauts de France-Pas de Calais Golf Open will begin again at 8:15 am local time from the 1stand 10th hole. After round 2, a cut will be made to the top 30 professional players and ties.
The first-round leader, French amateur Théo Boulet will begin round 2 at 8:45 am local time from the 10th hole.
The tournament this week is promoted and organized directly by the host golf club, Aa Saint-Omer Golf Club.
The 2023 Hauts de France-Pas de Calais Golf Open can count on the support of the following official partners: Région Hauts-de-France, Pas-de-Calais Mon Département, CAPSO Communauté D’Agglomération du Pays de Saint-Omer, Autosphere, BFM Grand Littoral, Frigolet, Najeti Hôtels & Golfs Collection, Sdez, Sysdeco, Golf+ and Vittel.
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