11th August 2020 | Alps Tour Golf
Austria Hosts Alps Tour 2020 Season Return
Maria Lankowitz (Austria), August 11, 2020 – The hills will once again be alive with the sound of club heads hitting balls as the Gösser Open stages the long-awaited return of the 2020 Alps Tour following the Covid-19 suspension.
Special thanks should be extended to the staff of the Erzherzog Johann Golf Club and Gerald Stangl representing the Murhofgruppe promotor. Their unrelenting hard work has made the tournament possible under challenging conditions.
With a strict sanitary protocol in place to ensure the safety of players and staff, a full field of 144 players tee off on Thursday here in Austria. There are 119 professionals and 25 amateurs from 16 countries eager to get back into play. A strong Austrian contingent of 48 players is only fitting at this jewel of Styrian golf courses.
Among the Austrian entries is last year’s Gösser Open winner Timon Baltl. He is joined by Lukas Nemecz, who claimed victory here in 2017. But they can expect to face stiff competition from local Styrian hero, Martin Wiegele, winner in 2008.
The Austrians may also have to watch out for their two lady compatriots teeing off against them. Sarah Schober, a professional player on the Ladies EuropeanTour and the amateur player Emma Spitz.
Also participating is another former Gösser Open victor from 2014, the Frenchman Thomas Elissalde. Whilst the winners of the two Egyptian series tournaments at the beginning of 2020 just prior to the Covid-19 suspension, Stefano Mazzoli from Italy, Red Sea Little Venice champion and the Dutchman, Lars Keunen, victor at the Ein Bay Open, will both be hoping to restart their seasons with another trophy.
Among the seasoned players, rookies, amateurs, and wild card entries is special guest, Barry Lane. Currently playing on the European Senior Tour, with 8 wins to date, Barry has an impressive professional golf career under his belt. Victories on the European Tour, a Ryder Cup appearance and representing England in the World Cup and Alfred Dunhill Cup to name but a few of his achievements. He is also one of the 32 players participating in the Pro-Am tournament at Erzherzog Johann Golf Club on August 12th.
Seasoned Alps Tour players affectionately call this tournament the ‘5th Major’. European Tour player and winner of the Gösser Open in 2016, Matt Wallace, in a recent best wishes message to players said that it was: …”one of my favourite tournaments on the Alps Tour and my best win. Great tournament, great course”.
The course certainly lives up to that nickname. Designed by architect DI Herwig Zisser and opened in 1992 it is located on the edge of a nature reserve in Western Styria, about 40 km from Graz.
The natural architecture of the course respecting the rolling hills, forest and lakes creates an idyllic setting. However, the par 72, 5967 metres /6526 yards course holds some interesting challenges. With numerous doglegs creating blind holes, daring players to play over the trees or play safe, the course requires concentration and accuracy.
The weather conditions for this return to play could be a little unsettled with temperatures in the 20°C but the occasional thunderstorm possible. It just remains to wish everyone a warm welcome back to the tee box and three days of great golf.
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