18th December 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Casey King of La Cala

Ireland's Brian Casey, leader from the first day, won the Alps Tour Q School final stage with 5 shots margin.

Ireland’s Brian Casey (c) Agathe Séron

“Oh my God, I like so much to be on top!” These are the words Brian Casey said as he was in front of the scoreboard for the final picture. The 22 year old fired second best score tie of the day, 67 to win by 5 shots the Alps Tour Q School final Stage.

“It’s my first ever card so I am actually delighted about that. I’ve got so much to play next year that’s for sure. It’s giving me a sense of security. I like to be a part of the Alps Tour.”

“I had a nice start today, I was 3 ahead after 2 because on guy bogeyed the first and the other bogeyed the second. And I was a lot better with the wedge today.”

“The goal for next year is to win earlier on the Alps Tour and then to be on top 5. I will have now a few weeks off and see my family and then go back to the gym to get some muscles back…”

Players today really enjoyed the beauty of Asia course in La Cala as the sun was finally shinning for this last round. The scores got lower and England’s amateur Robbie Busher who just made the cut finished at 16th position as he scored amazing 65.

Former Alps Tour winner in 2009, Italy’s Andrea Perrino is one of the players who signed for 67 and he jumped from the 45th to the 17th place. French amateur, Clément Batut finished at 5th place thanks to same score.

France’s Romain Schneider and Spain’s amateur Javier Gallegos finished respectively second and third with a total of -9. The cut for the full category 6 fell on -1 for 37 players.

This year, the nation podium is lead by England with 10 players followed by France with 8 and Spain with 7 fellows. There are 18 of them who will play their first season on the Alps Tour and among them 5 amateurs from Spain, France, Scotland and England.

From La Cala Resort
Agathe Séron

17th December 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Casey feels at home in La Cala

Brian Casey from Ireland leads Alps Tour Q School final stage with -9 total. On hs toes, Englands' Curtis Griffiths.

Brian Casey from Ireland (c) Agathe Séron

Brian Casey from Republic of Ireland is still leading the final Stage of Alps tour Q School in La Cala after scoring 70 on Asia course for -9 total. England’s Curtis Griffiths fired the best score of the day of same course, 67 to be one shot back. Eventually, Scotland’s James White signed for 69 and climbed on third step of the 100% GB&I podium.

The weather conditions were wetter than during first round and the sun totally missed the call today. The leader confessed that this second round was hard to manage.

“Tough day, the greens are small and they are quite firm. I dropped one shot on the 8th, missed the green again with a wedge, same mistakes as yesterday but I managed to stay focus. I eat a lot on course, that’s the key, it’s my secret weapon but ssshhhh…, don’t tell!”

But the young Irish man has another trick in his bag. He’s been staying in the area for six weeks now with his girlfriend who knows the course perfectly as she used to live here. And they are staying by the Captain’s home of La Cala.

“He is American and he is such a great support! It helps to feel confident.”

Surrey’s Curtis Griffiths, 20 year old, turned pro last June when he was +4 handicap and decided to come to the Alps Tour as some of his friends are former or current members –Steven Brown, Warren Harmston, Alex Christie–.

“I started off quite well with a birdie then I holed three in a row from the 4th, it was a good momentum and I stayed steady. I hit fairways and greens and that’s it!”

The cut eventually fell at +3 to let 23 players from GB&I continue the race with 19 Italians, 16 Frenchmen, 10 Spaniards, 2 Austrians, and one native of Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Norway, Portugal and Czech Republic.

From La Cala Resort
Agathe Séron

16th December 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Casey and Christie shot low in La Cala

Ireland's Brian Casey signed for best score of the day 65 on America course. Alex Christie is leading on Asia with 68.

Ireland’s Brian Casey (c) Agathe Séron

Ireland’s Brian Casey fired astonishing 65 on America course to take a two shot lead after opening round in Q school final Stage in La Cala. England’s Jack Senior is two shots back. On Asia course, Alex Christie from England signed for solid 68.

Cloudy and fresh, this was the weather today in La Cala. The lower scores came from the America course. Only two players out of 11 on top have played the Asia course today.

“I shot level par on front 9 then I started to hole some putts on back 9 and shot 32. I hit the ball OK but I managed my game very well! I didn’t take any risk, I was sensible.” Christie said.

The best score of the day belongs to Brian Casey, 22 year old from Meath, who just turned pro.

“I turned pro 3 months ago. I decided to try to play the Alps Tour because this is the Satellite Tour where the best players go, I can have the experience of the travels and there are the bigger price money.”

“I missed 3 greens with a wedge, don’t write that, it is not very positive! But I holed 8 birdies and one eagle on the 6th so at the end, it was a good round.”

Great round as well for Jack Senior, 2012 Alps Tour graduate. Senior is always looking for perfection and even if his score is pretty nice he admitted some regrets.

“I think I played brilliantly but the score is not that low. I three putted the last two holes but I holed some good ones as well. I did not play a tournament since the Stage 2 of the European Tour and I don’t if it is a mental block but Ihave never played well in these Q School. Here, I feel confident and obviously, the more confident you are the better you play.”

The projected “full category” after 18 holes is one under.

From La Cala Resort
Agathe Séron

15th December 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Ready for the final in La Cala

England's Jack Senior, has chosen the Alps Tour to try to go back on Challenge Tour. The Q School Final will start on Monday.

England’s Jack Senior – Getty Images

The Alps Tour Q School Final is to be launched on Monday for the 144 player field. Young golfers will challenge experimented ones to try to be in the top 35 and obtain full category to play 2014 season.

England’s Jack Senior is one of the known names this week. Senior was in the winning team in the 2011 Walker Cup. He had obtained his card on the Alps Tour in december 2011 to play with success the 2012 season. Unfortunately his results in 2013 ranked him lower than 120th on the Challenge Tour and he decided to come back on Alps Tour.

“I planed to play the Alps Tour in Febuary and March before the Challenge Tour season starts. I will have 7 invits on the upper circuit and we will see what happens.”

Same story for Scotland’s Ross Kellett who got graduate last year.

Italy’s Andrea Perrino won the Alps Tour ranking in 2009 after two wins during his golden year. He had two good seasons on the Challenge Tour but in 2013, he finished 112th at the final ranking. He will enter few tournaments on the Challenge Tour but as 2014 is a Ryder Cup year, everyone is concerned. More players on European Tour to try to be in the team, so less spots for the Q School graduate players and so and so until the Alps Tour.

The first two rounds of the Q School final in La Cala are played on both courses America and Asia. Then the final round will take place on Asia. Top 35 and ties will have category 6 to play and below until 65 and ties category 8.

From La Cala Resort
Agathe Séron

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Final Stage – Round 1 Tee Times


Tee Times are now ready for the 1st Round of the Final Stage.

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13th December 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Lombardi and Edge winners in La Cala

England's Martin Edge and Italy's Nunzio Lombardi to win first stage of Alps Tour Qualifying school.

England’s Martin Edge and Italy’s Nunzio Lombardi

Italy’s Nunzio Lombardi and England’s Martin Edge won respectively on Asia course and America course during first stage of Qualifying school. Lombardi scored back to back 68 and Edge second 69 in a row.

Winner on Alps Tour in 2010, Lombardi came to Spain to reclaim a full category after ups and downs on Challenge Tour. His game seemed solid and his confidence is getting higher.

“I ‘m very happy about my game this 2 days, 4 under both round even if today I regret a bogey on 18th with two perfect shots.

The key to play well Asia was absolutely to respect the course, in some hole as the 16th you would like take the green in two shots but then you realize you could really lose a lot of shots.

For the Final Stage I hope to be able to keep playing well and having fun without thinking too much of the score, when I’m able to do that I play my best golf.”

Martin Edge had a amazing row of 3 birdies on the last three holes to grab the win of the first stage. His knowledge of the course helped him as he played it last year.

“Very happy and very good finish (smiling…) I played America already last year and I knew the course. I putted very well today, this is probably the key of my game today.

The most important shot on America is of course the tee shot, you have to put the ball in play well because, if not, this course can become very difficult.”

On America course the podium is completed by Matthew McAlpin from Northern Ireland and Scotland’s John Gallagher, whose fans are supporting them great on social media. They both signed for 70 to aggregate to their overnight 69. On this course, non play-off as exactly 34 players finished at +5.

On Asia course, Spain’s Jose Ignacio Marin is second 3 shots back of the winner at -5 and England’s Brad Hannah is third with -3 total.

One player had a really sad ending day. France’s Alexis Noudeu is the player who lost his spot in the final play-off as three other players did better than him during extra holes. He is first alternate though if anyone misses the call on Monday for opening day of the Alps Tour Final Stage.

Agathe Séron
Quotes Alessandro Pia

12th December 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Day One in La Cala

qschoolday1England’s Joshua White signed for fawless 67, 5 under on Asia course and duo Thimothée Guin from France and Northern Ireland Simon Ward both shot 68 on America course.

The weather conditions were perfect for this opening day in La Cala. Fair temperatures, 18°C and gentle brizze to welcome the Alps Tour Q School Stage 1 player. There are no less than 67 spots to entre the final stage, 34 on America and 33 on Asia.

White, 22 year from Surrey, tamed brilliantly the 18 holes of America course. He had his momentum with a hat trick of birdies holed from the 10th.The course defended itself well though. Only 7 players managed to play under par. Italy’s Nunzio Lombardi, Alps Tour winner, is the closest challenger of the Englishman with -4. The projected ‘cut’ is +5 after one day.

On Asia course, 22 year old Frenchman Guin and Belfast native Ward both lead with -4. There are 14 players who shot under par and the projected line to play the next step is +2.

On the podium, on both courses, a mix of nationalities. On Asia, two stokes bak of the lead, Spain’s Alfonso Gutierez, England’s Josh Loughrey and Italian amateur Fédérico Maccaro. On America, only one shot behind leading duet, Englishmen Thomas Coulson and Martin Edge neck to neck with Northern Ireland’s Matthew McAlpin and former Scottish Amateur Champion John Gallagher.

Agathe Séron

10th December 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Big guns in La Cala

Former European Tour player, Swiss Julien Clément, is one of the big guns in La Cala Resort this week

Former European Tour player, Swiss Julien Clément (Getty images)

Former European Tour player Swiss Julien Clement is one of the great players to be in La Cala this week to try to regain his card on the Alps Tour. Golfers often experiment ups and downs in their carreer and they are used to face them.

The European Tour Q school is full of former European Tour winners and even Ryder Cup players. At Alps Tour level, the Q School is a place where famous names come to play with a target : put their game on the right tracks for next season. Pros confessed that playing on lower circuit after a bad year on Challenge Tour ou main Tour helped them to feel confident again in their swing.

Rookies will compet this week against talented and experimented players such as Julien Clément, Italy’s Andrea Perrino, 2009 Alps Tour winner, France’s Romain Schneider and Xavier Poncelet, England’s Jack Senior, Scotland’s Ross Kellett and Spain’s Juan Antonio Bragulat, former Alps Tour graduates.

The Cala Resort is the perfect place to play golf, practice and players and officials enjoyed the facilities such as spa, indoor swimming pool or fitness center. The Alps Tour is visiting the Cala Resort for the second year in a raw. The Cala Resort offers 3 championship golf courses to their guests and this year, Alps Tour players will challenge ASIA and AMERICA courses.

Agathe Séron

9th December 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Meet Alan Dunbar

Alan Dunbar, 2012 British Amateur Champion, is one of seven Irish players to play the Q School this week to play the Alps Tour in 2014.

Alan Dunbar, 2012 British Amateur Champion (c) Getty Images

Northern Ireland Alan Dunbar is one of the 226  players to attend the Qulifaying school this week. Portrush native is 23 year old and turned pro just after the 2013 Masters.

Dunbar was a member of the winning GB&I team in 2011 Walker Cup and his greatest achievement as amateur is his British Amateur win in 2012 in Royla Troon. With this win, Dunbar get an exemption to play the Open, The Masters and the US Open, altough he forfeited the latter as he turned pro.

Dunbar and his compatriots, six this week, one from Northern Ireland and 5 from Ireland hope to walk in Gareth Shaw’s footstep. Shaw won the Alps Tour ranking in 2012 and had a great season on Challenge Tour in 2013. He also had two great results on European Tour thanks to invits : he finished 13th at the Alstom Open de France and 5th at the Irish Open.

Agathe Séron

6th December 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Qualifying School starts soon…

La Cala Resort - America CourseLa Cala Resort completes the final preparations for the 230 players who will take part in the next Qualifying School next week. The weather forecasts are good. The yardage books are ready. Staff arrives in a couple of days on site.

Some players are already there to practice and do a strong reconnaissance of the courses. Asia Course is a spectacular par 72 (5925 metres) and has plenty of challenging holes, guaranteeing a testing round of golf which puts a premium on the approach shot. This is the oldest of the three courses and the one most respected by the professionals. It is narrow and short, with five par holes demanding skill and strategy. Look out for the 10th with its classic design, and the 5th where the aim of your drive is especially critical. The 18th requires full concentration.
America Course, a par 72 (6009 metres) is enhanced by spectacular views to the Sierra de Ojén and Mediterranean Sea. It’s wide, linked fairways and relatively few bunkers make this a slightly easier driving course, though the hilly topography requires a lot of carry across steep brush-covered side slopes. There are water hazards on the 9th and 16th.

Next Thursday, 150 players from 20 nationalities (75 on Asia course and 75 on America course) will make their best effortsduring two days to join the 80 players already exempted to process through the Final Stage.


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