29th May 2011 | Alps Tour Golf

Ignacio Sanchez Palencia king of Guadeloupe


Spain’s Ignacio Sanchez Palencia played with inspiration, feeling and chance all day long. Among great shots, he holed more than 10 meters on last hole to crucified his playing partner England’s Jason Barnes and ruined France’s Guillaume Cambis hope to get into a play off.

The leaderboard has been moving at almost every hole. A group of eight players were fighting to stay in the race for the best place. In the last group, Jason Barnes did a very good start with 2 birdies in a row on first two holes and was 2 clear from nearest challenger, Ignacio Sanchez Palencia. At this moment it seemed that the story of a fifth British win on Alps Tour was about to be written. But golf is full of surprises, magic shots and putt flirting with the hole and avoid it at the very end.

One player, France’s Guillaume Cambis put pressure on the others as he turned -6 for the day after 14 holes. The rookie did not start the tournament well, his first score was 75 but as rounds went on, he adapted his game and played better and better. He was -12 total as well as Ignacio Sanchez Palencia, Jason Barnes and Jaime Camargo. Guillaume Cambis dropped one shot on 16th par 3. He missed the green on the right, almost holed his bunker shot but missed the putt. Spectators could hear the young gun said “come on, let’s do 3 and 3 on coming hole and that’s it !”. He was closed to achieve his wish with 2 birdies and a total of -13 waiting for the last group.

Behind Ignacio Sanchez Palencia had a one stroke advantage over Jason Barnes. He was -13 total as he teed off the 17th hole. His ball find the fairway as Barnes one. Spaniard hit his second shot with a three wood to hit the green and hooked it in the direction of the out of bounds. Barnes land in the bunker. Sanchez Palencia hit a provisional ball and he almost holed it as crowd shout after such a great shot. He saved a unexpected par to stay -13. Barnes did a great bunker shot and holed to be -13 as well.
Spectators could hear referees walkies talkies crackled to plan a play off…

The 18th green is often the place of tears, joy and emotion. This first Open de Saint François ended the best way as far as sport is concerned. Barnes and Sanchez Palencia were quite far from the pin. Spaniard put first. His ball rolled softly but straight to the target and fall into the hole with nice sound followed by laud yell of the spectators. Sanchez waited until Barnes missed his put to see all spanish “armada” running on the green and put him under a champagne shower before throwing him in the water hazard.
Thanks to this win, Ignacio Sanchez Palencia jumped on the 4th place of the Alps Tour ranking and Guillaume Cambis entered the 5th position.

At Saint François
Agathe Séron

28th May 2011 | Alps Tour Golf

Barnes and Serres tie in Guadeloupe


England’s Jason Barnes had warned at the beginning of the tournament that his goal was the victory. He will tee off in last group tomorrow as he took the lead tie with -10 total. France’s Olivier Serres (picture) shot the score of the day 64, 7 under par to join the Englishman. Serres confessed that he felt good in Guadeloupe. (click here for image gallery)

“I am playing very good, I feel good here, people are nice. I have been working and training in Australia at A Game academy all winter and Patrick Talon, French coach, helped me for specific points. It would be my first win but right now honestly I don’t know. I can not think about it I am exhausted, it a so hot today…”

Players suffered again a lot on course. They have been playing in the heat for 5 days now and bodies got hurt.

Jason Barnes, with very British phlegm, keeps on saying that he is playing well and that the goal is still the same, a victory. At third place, Spain’s Ignacio Sanchez Palencia, only one stroke back of the lead and behind fellow Jaime Camargo and France’s Julien Gressier. Odds are very high. No less than 16 players within 5 shots. A win from behind would be the surprise for this first Open de Saint François Guadeloupe.

At Saint François
Agathe Séron

27th May 2011 | Alps Tour Golf

Dual lead in French West Indies


In the heat… of the day. Dual lead after second round completed on great Trent Jones Saint-François golf course. Swiss Jann Schmid and France’s Julien Gressier are -7 total. One stroke back, France’s Thomas Fournier and England’s Jason Barnes.

As yesterday, temperatures were very high and humidity made players and spectators lost at least 2 kg of water during the round. Most of the field is not used to play under this unusual conditions and co-leader Julien Gressier put the finger on it “This week this winner will be a guy who would deal with the heat. For sure you have to drink often but keeping a wet towel on the neck and eating often will also be the key”.
Swiss Jann Schmid, admitted, despite more than 4 seasons on Alps Tour, that his level of golf was not good enough. “Before our new national coach, Steve Rey was deemed, we, Swiss team, were amateurs the way we planed tournaments and the way we played. It is now one season that he is following us on tour. We see him at least twice a month and we improve the level of our game.”

Jason Barnes target is to win. He already got one trophy in his pocket this season and confirmed that his confidence is strong. “I am much more confident than last year. In 2010, it was my first season as pro but now, the goal is to win. I hit the ball very good. I am still struggling a bit with my putting but it is going to be OK.”

The cut is fixed at +3 including young amateur Florent Ales, player of Saint François, Guadeloupe.

At Saint-François, Agathe Séron

26th May 2011 | Alps Tour Golf

Open de Saint-François – 1st Round


Players suffered a lot of hot temperatures today (approx. 32°C) and not enough wind to cool bodies and heads… Frenchman Mathieu Bey takes the lead with a scorecard of 66 5-under par, followed by four players one shot behind. Mattheu Bey did the perfect round avoiding dropping any shot. See Images Gallery He holed three birdies and one eagle to start the best way. England’s Jason Barnes, winner this year in Slovenia is in the group of players one stroke behind. He shares this second position with fellow Will Roebuck, 2011 Alps Tour new member, France’s Thomas Fournier and Spain’s Ignacio Sanchez Palencia.

Trent Jones Sr. course is unanimously appreciated for its design and preparation for the tournament after a long renovation last two years. Saint-Francois re-becomes a fantastic golf destination in West Indies.

Young 19 year old amateur, Florent Ales, member at Saint-François Golf Club and with playing handicap of +1.2, shot a solid 69 -2-under-par to be 10th tie.

25th May 2011 | Alps Tour Golf

Open de Saint-Francois Guadeloupe


After more than one month of rain, the sun is back and hot temperature too in West French Indies. Today, all amateurs will be glad to play with professionals in a pro-am competition.

Winners are:
Gross: 1st Team – Richard Kilpatrick (-7) // 2nd Team – Ghislain Rosier (-6)
Nett: 1st Team – Mathieu Bey (-16) // 2nd Team – Nicolas Sulzer (-15) // 3rd Team – Guillaume Cambis (-15)

22nd May 2011 | Alps Tour Golf

Maiden win for Scott Henry


Scotland’s Scott Henry had to wait 50 long minutes on the putting green before he knew he had won the 2011 Gösser Open presented by Martin Wiegele with a total of -17. He fired a 63-9-under-par card to grab a one stroke margin victory. Austrian Roland Steiner signed for 66. For the second year in a row, local fans applauded an Austrian runner up. At third place, a group of 4 players, Swiss Martin Rominger, Northern Ireland’s Richard Kilpatrick and England’s Jamie Abbot and Chris Paisley.

The weather was warm and humid in Styria. It doesn’t bother the big group of British players running for good results. Since the beginning of the Alps Tour season, players from Great Britain are dominating the Alps Tour events. At the middle of the day, no less than 7 of them where in top 10 with a total between -10 and -13.

But the odds were very good for a group run by Alps Tour leader, Chris Paisley. He was -7 as he started the day and his playing partner Scott Henry was -8. They both turn -13 total after 12 holes and were co-leaders without knowing anything about the scores behind them. All spectators were following last group so as Scott Henry holed for eagle on the 14th to take a 2 strokes lead, nobody knew except one journalist and one supporter. Paisley started to miss a couple of putts for birdy and Henry holed 3 meters to reach -16 on 15th hole. They both birdied par 5, 16th after great chip and short putt. After the information run from fairway to leaderboard, a few spectators finally came on the 17th to see the leader. Scott save a great par and did as well on the last hole after missing the fairway far left. The crowd believed until the end that Steiner had a chance to birdy 18th hole but the putt was long and he missed it. Scott Henry took a breath and finally smiled…

“I finished second last week in Slovenia. I really felt I could do better but mu putting was too poor. I putted quite bad during first 2 rounds here but I wanted to do the best I could today. I was playing with Chris Paisley and I really enjoyed our round. He started to holed birdies from every angle and I really though it was going to be tough. I am so happy about this win. I want to thank my parents for helping me because a few weeks ago I could not afford to go on tournaments any more and they helped me.”

Henry made the longest winner speech ever at Gösser Open and did not forget any one from sponsor to volunteers and green keepers. Everyone felt his discreet emotion and celebrate warmly their new champion. Scott Henry is now 3rd at Alps Tour ranking.

At Maria Lankowitz
Agathe Séron

21st May 2011 | Alps Tour Golf

Three way tie at Gösser Open


It was a long day to complete second round of Gösser Open presented by Martin Wiegele. Play was suspended during one hour and 15 minutes due to thunderstorms and lightening. Swiss Martin Rominger and Austrian Roland Steiner had already finished their round when referees stopped game. They both shot 67 for a 10-under-par-total. A third man joined them at the very end of the day, American Trent Leon.

Leon, 25 year old, has been improving his game in College in Dallas where he has been playing for 4 years. He had two wins but it would be his maiden trophy as professional. Roland Steiner is a Challenge Tour player, he had played with success the Alps Tour in 2007, was second of the final ranking without any win. Then, Martin Rominger, had obviously the most various experience as he used to play full time on Asian Tour and made one cut on PGA Tour.

“First it was a bit frustrating to play in lower circuit but I did not have any more results anywhere so it was a good way to regain confidence. I practice a lot in South Africa this winter. And since the beginning of the season, my wife and baby girl are with me on tournament. It obviously has a good effect on my game as I had good results so far.”

Yesterday’s leader lost one place after shooting 72 today but he deserves all the consideration of fellows. As he were leading with a -11 total, he gave himself a 2 stroke penalty as he made one leaf fall during a practice swing. None of his playing partners had seen anything but as soon as he has hit his wonderful recovery shot he went straight to see the referee and explained what happened.

“I really thought I could practice without touching the leaves… Only one felt. I could not have been able to ever sleep not telling I had a doubt. And as I made my referee exam in Saint Andrews, I know how difficult it is to judge each situation…”

He lost 2 strokes but with the feeling to be stronger to face tomorrow. The matter today was not these points but he struggled a bit with his putter.

Players shot very low as announced after first round and the cut is fixed at -4 including 4 Austrian amateurs. Martin Wiegele is -6 total and still have a chance to be the king in his garden.

At Maria Lankowitz
Agathe Séron

20th May 2011 | Alps Tour Golf

Austrian Claude Grenier Master Class


The weather was perfect this morning at Gösser Open presented by Martin Wiegele to shoot low. Austrian Claude Grenier, 51 year old and Canadian born, caught the opportunity to sign for a tremendous 63, -9 to lead by 2. He confessed it was a long time since he played so well.

“I played solid but even if you are on the green you have to hole many putts to shot 63 !!!”. Grenier is usually playing on Senior Tour thanks to invitations. His best finish here at Maria Lankowitz was a second place in 2007.

England’s Jamie Howarth is two shots back. Howarth built his experience in USA as he was student in Mississippi. “I would like to do as well as the two others English players who already won this year, Chris Paisley and Jason Barnes, it would be nice to follow them”

The best Austrian player is an amateur, Felix Schulz, he shot 66 and shares third place with Northern Ireland’s Richard Kilpatrick and American Trent Leon. European Tour winner, Martin Wiegele, decided to play on Alps Tour this week to thank his sponsor Gösser and also because he likes the course and event very much. He has won in 2008 and many Austrian fans were supporting him along the fairways. He shot 68.

The projected cut is very low: -2.

At Maria Lankowitz
Agathe Séron

15th May 2011 | Alps Tour Golf

Jason Barnes water saved


Jason Barnes was the best today against Mother Nature. He shot 73 on over par to win by 3 shots over France’s Guillaume Cambis. Barnes celebrated his second win on Alps Tour after Acaya Open title in 2010. Guillaume Cambis has just turned pro end of last year after Q school. He is beeing playing well for 2 weeks now after he changed his routine during Challenge Tour in Paris thanks to french coach Patrick Talon. Scotland’s Scott Henry did not succeeded in keeping his level of golf under the rain. He signed for 74 and grabbed third place.

It was an awful day in the sky of Putj in Slovenia. Rain started early in the morning to be the unexpected guest for last round. Scores were very high today and only 3 players out of 45 shot under par. Among them, Swiss Martin Rominger who scored 68 to finished 6th tie with France’s Olivier Serres. England’s Jamie Abbott and Nederland’s Sven Maurits shot 69 and 70 for 4th place tie. Alps Tour leader, England’s Chris Paisley keeps his leadership and huge margin of about 6200 points. Jason Barnes and Guillaume Cambis enter Top 5.

Agathe Séron

14th May 2011 | Alps Tour Golf

England's Barnes to run for victory


England’s Jason Barnes shown nerves of steal to take The Solvenian Open lead after second round. He was 4 shots back of Scotland’s Scott Henry when he teed off this morning. The Englishman had a very good ending season last year and seemed to be still in this mood. He signed for 67, -4 today and will have a 2-shot-advantage beginning last round.

At second place tie, a group of 3 players: defending champion Spain’s Carlos Balmaseda, Italian Alberto Campanile and Scotland’s Scott Henry.

Henry had a bad day as far as putting is concerned. He only holed one birdy and last hole par 5. What a difference a day made… compared to wonderfull yesteray’s card. Spain’s Balmaseda is full of confidence and will be a serious pretender for victory.

Italy’s Alberto Campanile is in a brand new position. The 26 year old player from Torino has never been in such a great ranking before last round. He struggled a bit with his game last year and only made 3 cuts out of 16 tournaments on the Alps Tour. Italian golfers are surfing on the great results of Molinari brothers and Campanile could be the surprise of the week.

The cut if fixed at +3.

Agathe Séron

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