15th March 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Next event: Alps de Las Castillas


The Federations of Castilla La Mancha, Castilla León and MatchGolf, with the RFEG’s support, have just signed an agreement to host the Alps de las Castillas, first event that will be played alternatively in these two regions. It will take place at Layos Golf on its first Edition next april, being the first Alps Tour event to be played in Spain in 2013.
José María Orozco Bayo and José Ignacio Jiménez, respectively presidents of the Federaciones de Golf de Castilla La Mancha and Castilla León, have signed the agreement with MatchGolf as promoter and organizer, a company with international recognition having a wide experience celebrating the highest level professional golf events.
As a witness of the signature, Gonzaga Escauriaza, President of the Royal Spanish Golf Federation. The strategy of the RFEG and Regional Federations with the Alps Tour is to promote golf in Spain and give youngest players more chances to build their careers as golf pros. They will play with the best young players from all over Europe as Alps Tour circuit the most international Satellite Tour as far as Nationalities are concerned. According to this agreement, they will have the chance to play not only the events in Spain, but will also be able to get invitations to play in Europe.
Layos Golf Course has been chosen to host this first Alps de las Castillas – it will take place in Castilla León next 2014-. The prestigious golf course is now well known by pros as in 2007 they hostes the Challenge de España, the Finals of the Madrid pro Tour and now the first event of the Alps Tour 2013 in Spain.
Gonzaga Escauriaza, president of the Royal Spanish Golf Federation showed his satisfaction with the new iniciative of this two Federations to promote golf. “We are going through difficult times so this coordinated campaign with the RFEG is really important for the development of our new golfers in such a successful tour as the Alps is”.
José María Orozco Bayo, President of Federación de Castilla La Mancha said as well: “We are very happy with this agreement. Our Federation has always supported the professional golf, and this event is a step ahead that will open doors to our young players towards Europe. Meanwhile, it will be a good promotion of golf and also our golf courses in Europe. Layos Golf reached the high quality levels that the Alps Tour demands nowadays, and it will be a pleasure to receive the young players that will be at the main Tour soon, as it happened with the players that came here in 2007 for the Challenge de España. We are looking forward to welcome rising stars of golf and maybe seeing a new spanish winner to promote the Tour”.
José Ignacio Jiménez, president of Federación de Castilla León said: “We are really proud to announce this event as we have joined forces to be able to host it. Even during this difficult times, we have to support our young players and give them the chance to develop their careers here and also in Europe thanks to the agreement with the Alps Tour. I am sure it will be a complete success and that it will last for many years, alternating the best courses of Castilla La Mancha and Castilla León”.
Javier Gervás, promoter: “This event was created to visit the best golf courses of Castilla La Mancha and Castilla León alternatively. For the first edition, the great week of golf will take place in the legendary city of Toledo, that will host the visitors and show the best of the city during the week. It will also be a great opportunity for those who love the sport of golf to enjoy very closely the players that will be at the top of the international rankings soon”.
The Alps de las Castillas 2013 will take place in Layos Golf, Toledo, in April 4-6.

7th March 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Cooley Bis Repetita


England’s Andrew Cooley won his second title in a row after only one extra hole. He defeated fellows Tom Shadbold and Jason Palmer. Italy’s Andrea Maestroni recorded the best score ever on this course, 64, 8 under par to finish 4th by his own.

For once, the winner was not playing in the last group today. Unfortunately, Gerard Piris Mateu and Rhys Enoch had a bad day. Enoch’s body language was full of information as he teed off the 5th. Head down, shoulders hunched as if carrying world misery, he had just dropped 5 shots in two holes and looked stunned. He did not manage to come back. Experience of this day will be fore sure helpful next time he plays in last group.

The winning energy was in the two groups ahead. Jason Palmer, who finished second at Alps Tour ranking in 2010, had a really nice round signing for 67 and was the first leader at the club house with -10. Ten minutes later, England’s Andrew Cooley, last week winner, holed for eagle on the 17th and joined Palmer. Then, Tom Shadbold holed 15 meters on last hole to be the third guy to go into a play-off.
Cooley admitted that he has recovered good spirits to erase bogey five he had on 15th.

“After bad luck on 15th where I dropped one shot on the green, I found some energy to hole 8 meters on 16th for birdie and 3 meters on 17th for an eagle.”

“When I discover than the extra hole was number one, I was very happy. That was the best hole for me. I was sure I was going to drive to try to rich the green.”

And he did a little more though. His two opponents hit the fairway. Palmer was the first to putt for birdie. A perfect line but the ball jumped and miss his target. “It’s cruel” he said. “It was in!”. Shadbold missed his putt as well but on the wrong side of the hole and could not expect it to go in. Finally Cooley was the last of the three to putt for birdie after good chip one meter long. He holed it in confident and show some relief.

In 10 days, Cooley has transformed himself from a middle class Alps Tour player (he finished 28th last year) into the best so far with two wins in a row grabbed after defeating opponents in a play-off.

From Jaz Hotel SOKHNA

Agathe Séron

6th March 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Enoch ready to rock… as they say


On European Tour website they announced today “Enoch ready to rock”. True but first on the Alps Tour? Wales Rhys Enoch recorded narrow margin lead after second round of Red Sea Little Venice Open. He had a 70-stroke-card to overnight 67 to lead by one at -7. On his toes a pack of 3 players, last week winner England’s Andrew Cooley, fellow Tom Shadbold and Spain’s Gerard Piris Mateu.

Most of the leading players after one round had to face a 30 km per hour wind. It started to blow at 11:00 after pretty fair morning. But the wind was not the only trick Mother Nature played. A locust invasion forced officials to close the practice for a moment – a revival of the eighth Plague of Egypt – . Last time locusts came from Sudan to go to Israel was in 2006 and the only way to get ride of them before they eat all the grass is to burn tires. The smell and dark smoke make them leave.

Whatever, on course, none of the players realized what was going on. Spain’s Gerard Piris Mateu was the first leader at the club house after shooting great 67.

“I played well but most of all my putter was really hot today. I was not that close to the flags but I holed long putts. This year I will try to play Alps Tour and Challenge Tour on invitations.”

To join him at -6, two Englishmen Cooley and Shadbolt. Cooley fired 5 under on front nine and did not seem to play the same course and conditions than other players.

From Jaz Hotel on Red Sea banks
Agathe Séron

“I holed 10 meters for eagle on the first hole, that kind of thing puts you in a good mood for the day. I had a really good par on the 7th. I never saw the fairway, I had to chip with very bad stance and finally I holed” he said. Being asked about his new status “I don’t think my win gave me more confidence. I am just playing well.”

Tom Shadbolt has been pro now for 2 years. He played the Open 2011 and events on Challenge Tour and European Tour as well. He spent last year on Euro Pro Tour but still seeking for “real” maiden win.

“I never won a big tournament like this, nothing that can be compared.” He explained his skills in the wind : “My coach made me train hard to be used to work with the wind so it really helped me today. I had two nice putts but I was quite close to the flags for the others birdies.”

Finally, at the end of the day, already famous Rhys Enoch holed birdie on the 17th to take the lead by his own. He confessed he struggled a bit more than during first round.

“As it was windy, I knew it was going to be a tough day. I tried to stay calm. I knew I was playing well but I struggled a bit with left wind. I had 2 drop shots on my first four holes. One was bad luck and the other, a mistake. I drove in the waste area and I had to make a short stroke to go out. Can’t save par.” But the 24 year player with Celtic Manor logo on his shirt got back to business soon.

“Then on the 8th, a par 3 my ball was just 5 centimetres to the pin, an easy birdie! On the 9th, I holed 4 meters and turned front nine level par. I did a very shot on the 10th and almost hit the green but to day I hit more irons to place the ball.”

No less than 12 players are in 4 shots and tomorrow can be the stage of interesting battle on Red sea banks.

From Red Sea banks
Agathe Séron

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5th March 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Enoch to join Couvert at lead


France’s Pierre-Ludovic Couvert and Wales Rhys Enoch share lead after first round of inaugural Red Sea Little Venice Open. Both signed for 67, 5 under par, one shot clear of Julien Foret from France and Spain’s Xabi Puig. Last week winner, England’s Andrew Cooley is 7th tie, 3 shots back.

Perfect temperature to play today but the wind gave challenge to the field. The first player to lead was France’s Julien Foret as he teed off early in second group. He said the course offers different options to be played. He shot 68, 4 under, 6 birdies and 2 bogeys.

“I played well. The wind was helping, except on the 12th. This is the kind of course you can adapt your strategy with the wind and the way you play. Either you hit an iron either you drive. I alternate both choice all day and it suited me.”

Another Frenchman walked in Foret’s foot steps to eventually pass him. Pierre-Ludovic Couvert shown big smile as he left the scoring area.

“I have been playing well for some weeks now but my last round last week gave me the confidence I needed to score well. My strength is my iron game. Here on the course, I don’t mind teeing off with 3 iron and hit the green with 6 or 7 iron. Every birdie I holed was close to the flags, no more than 3 meters. I only dropped one shot on the 4th. I missed the green on the left, made a bad chip and did not hole. An ugly bogey!”

A few minutes later, rookie Enoch joined Couvert at -5. Rhys Enoch, 24 year old, recorded a five match win during 2012 Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy and is known for prodigious hitting distances.

“I played really well today. I hit the driver almost every where and I took advantage on short holes. I hit 15 greens and made good pars on 14th and 16th. The only long putt I holed was on 10th, 7 meters.”

His ranking on 2013 Challenge Tour is currently 14th thanks to 5th place in India.

“I guess it can help. When I am on bigger circuit, I know I am not the best player but here, if I do well I can be in the top players. So I suppose in my mind, I feel comfortable.”

The first Egyptian player, Ayman Mahmoud shot 74, 2 over par and is in good position to made the cut.

From Red Sea Jaz Little Venice Hotel
Agathe Séron

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4th March 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Practice round before Red Sea Little Venice Open


After pyramids visit last Saturday, all players are back on course to practice as first round of Red Sea Little Venice Open to be launched tomorrow.

The playing conditions are perfect. The weather is fair, not to hot – 22°- and new course is in good shape. The 18 holes of this week is made up with 9 holes from last week event and with brand new 9 holes opened since 3 weeks.

“The greens are a little different than the others but today, the pace is great and we assume they will be even better tomorrow.” said Chief referee France’s Claude Gourbin.

First tee at 7:30 (GMT -2) for 77 players including 6 Egyptians.

Picture : Alessandro Grammatica (a) Agathe Séron

3rd March 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Alps Tour to visit Pyramids of Giza


Amazing visit for Alps Tour players and staff : the Great Pyramids of Giza. Build 4600 years ago, the 9 pyramids are very close to Cairo, the third biggest town in the world with 22 millions people.

Cairo is a crazy town to cross but it worth waiting for! The best way to see the pyramids is to go to the top of the hill behind : let’s ride! Some of us are definitely much more comfortable with feet on the ground than on camels back…

The most courageous decided to enter on of the pyramid, The corridor is 1m20 hight and your should not be claustrophobic to enter and manage to walk until the death chamber…

Great souvenir for Alps Tour inaugural visit in Egypt.

Picture : Steve Brown bunker shot (c) Agathe Séron

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