MIRA Golf Experience Acaya Opens the 2021 Alps Tour Season
March 21st, 2021 – Lecce, Italy. The Alps Tour Spring Season tees off for the first tournament of the year here at the Acaya Golf Resort in this, the 20th anniversary year for the tour. We have a fantastic field of 120 players of 14 nationalities and the enthusiasm for this debut competition was such that we have a wealth of reserves all hoping for a spot.
There are lots of familiar faces, plus plenty of new ones. Among the entrants, we are delighted to welcome Matteo Manassero who joins us again after winning last year’s Toscano Open – his first win in seven years. Let’s hope the Alps Tour brings the former European Tour and PGA winner the golden touch here in Lecce. He is joined by his winning compatriots from last season, Stefano Mazzoli at the Red Sea Little Venice Open, and Jacopo Vecchi Fossa at the Italy Open.
The impressive 52 strong Italian contingent includes all the members of the Italian National team fresh from competing here this weekend at the Italian International Men’s Amateur Championship where the top Italian amateur player, Gregorio de Leo was triumphant. It may prove to be a useful warm-up for this week’s play.
We also have Edoardo Lipparelli, winner of the 2019 Order of Merit and two-time runner up Enrico di Nitto who both now play on the Challenge Tour.
On the French side, the second largest nationality group represented, we have Jeong Weon Ko, third on the OofM 2020, along with David Ravetto, joint winner of the 2020 Qualifying School who recently turned pro. Edouard Espana, the former Challenge Tour player is present as well, alongside one of the leading French amateurs, Paul Margolis.
The runner-up of the 2020 OofM, Lucas Vacarisas heads the Spanish field with compatriots Alejandro Del Rey, winner of the 2020 Open de la Mirabelle d’Or and Jacobo Pastor victor at the 2020 Alps de Las Castillas.
The sole American, Blaire McKeithen who was another of last year’s Q School joint winners is back for a second season.
The Acaya Golf Resort’s cleverly crafted conception offers plenty of challenges. Remodeled in 2007 by Dr Michael Hurdzan, it is a natural, well-spaced layout amidst the Mediterranean maquis and olive trees. The par 71, 6192 m/6772 yd open parkland layout is extremely diverse in its design that may push players to use all 14 clubs in the bag. The gently undulating terrain has fairways of a good-width and greens well-defended by bunkers, 58 sand traps in total. A complex system of lakes and streams brings water into play on 9 of the 18 holes with a spectacular waterfall dividing hole 10 and 11. One hazard that cannot be anticipated is the wind, as, if it picks up, the course plays more like a links. The weather forecast looks promising though with the showers of the next few days dissipating and the tournament days being sunny and warm.
The tournament is taking place in a sanitary “bubble” with players and staff staying at the on-site hotel here at the MIRA Acaya Golf Resort & Spa. Nestled in 120 hectares of Mediterranean undergrowth in a setting of a rare natural beauty, the resort can cater to every need in strict respect of the sanitary protocol.
Players tee off on Wednesday March 24th with the cut being made after 36 holes.
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