24th February 2014 | Alps Tour Golf

Elissalde back in form in Egypt

France's Thomas Elissalde shot 65 to lead by one shot the opening round of the Red Sea Little Venice Open.

France’s Thomas Elissalde shot 65 to lead by one shot the opening round of the Red Sea Little Venice Open.

France’s 21 year old Thomas Elissalde signed for 7 under par 65 to lead by one stroke over two compatriots Julien Foret and Clément Berardo and Spain’s Alfonso Gutierrez.

Elissalde just turned pro at the end of last season. He missed the cut last week but managed to improve his level of game to tame the course this week. He signed for flawless card with five birdies and one eagle.

« I did not drop any shot. I played the pars 5 cleverly, I had two birdies and one eagle. I putted really well because each time I was in danger, far from the pin, I ended with a gimme. I holed some great ones as well, so all in all, a very nice day. »

« In comparison to last week, I stroke the ball about the same but beside my driving, I played poorly last week. My short game really bad. Today my driving was not so efficient but my short game was really sharp. It has made a big difference. The only thing not really at the top level was my wedging. »

Former European Tour player, Julien Foret had a really good round. The New Caledonia born decided not to go back home this winter but spent time in Morocco in Samanah golf club to practice.

« This morning, there was no wind when I started. So I could play my first nine, from 10 to 18, in good conditions. There are plenty of birdies opportunities on these holes. I holed some good putts and hit the green close to flags. And on the back nine, even with the wind starting to blow I manage to earn a few more strokes. »

Eventually, in the afternoon draw, France’s Clément Berardo confirmed his good form of last week. He finished on the podium of the Red Sea El Ein Bay Open and recorded a brilliant 66 but in a very colorful way. He started hitting the green on first hole and holed 6 meters for eagle and was 4 under after four holes but his 5th hole was a long, long journey to the hole. He drove in the waste area, find water hazard with second shot, finally reach the green quite nicely as he ended no more than one meter to the cup but missed it and dropped two shots.

Being asked leaving the last green how much he played, Berardo smiled and confessed that he didn’t know.

« I was annoyed with my double bogey on the 14th (his fifth hole) so I stopped counting. But I think I shot 6 under. I am really happy to get benefits from all the work done. »

The first Egyptian player shot 73, one over par to share 59th position.

From Ain Sokhna
Agathe Séron

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