Blaire McKeithen USA (top left), Philip Bootsma NL (top right), David Ravetto FR (bottom left)
Photo Credit; Filippo Vianelli
19th November 2020 | Alps Tour Golf
Qualifying School 2020 Final Round – Trio of Winners at -7 (209)
November 19th, 2020 –Rome, Italy – A tightly fought final round saw three winners of the Final Round of the Alps Tour Qualifying School 2020; Blaire McKeithen from the USA, Philip Bootsma from the Netherlands, and the French amateur, David Ravetto with -7 (209) for the three rounds.
The Frenchman was first into the clubhouse with the lowest score of the day out on the Golf Nazionalecourse. An eagle, five birdies and a bogey saw him card a 66 (-6) today.
“Perfect playing conditions with 20°C, sunny and no wind. I came here with the goal of winning the QSchool but after a mediocre first round it looked complicated. So, I just decided to aim for as high a classification as possible. Today, the greens were receptive, and I hit all the fairways which is essential on a course like this. The putts dropped on the back nine and the eagle on the 7th helped. A great day.”
Last years’ winner of the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship, the first French player to do so since 2007, the amateur is considering turning pro next year.
Next in was the Dutchman, Philip Bootsma, with a bogey-free 67 (-5) and five birdies. A particularly satisfying win for him as he had just come back from injury when the Covid-19 crisis hit meaning his season did not start until July at the Gosser Open.
“During the downtown I decided to work on my swing to try and pick up some distance from the tee. So, I went back to the drawing board and made some changes. That’s why in the previous events my results were not too good but now it’s finally paid off which is great. It’s just a shame that the season’s over now but it’s a good motivation for the coming months.”
Last in was the American, Blaire McKeithen on par 72 with two birdies and two bogeys. On the green for two on the 18th hole par 5, he nearly emerged as outright winner.
“The feelings were good today. The course played a lot more difficult today and it was a bummer to finish off with a three putt but it was so much fun to even have a chance to win. Obviously, it’s great to get the tour card for next year because I love this tour and want to come back again”.
The Californian resident is a long way from home and had quite a challenge to get here:
“I actually had to go to London, quarantine for two weeks, take a test and then flew to Vienna and played at the event in Graz. Obviously then I couldn’t go back home so, I’ve been a kind of nomad for the last five months. But it’s been a wonderful year, a great life experience for me to do all this travelling and then overcome the disappointment of the season”.
Indeed, the American had a long series of missed cuts and just edged into the Qschool Final Stage:
“From there it was like the monkey was off my back, so the confidence skyrocketed. Now I feel like a world beater out of nowhere, going from the lowest to the highest so I’m very excited about next season. I love Europe, love all the countries I’ve been able to spend time at, love the people that I met out here and everyone who runs the tour. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m coming back”.
In total for the field, 36 players secured cards in category 6 and 37 players secured category 8 for the Alps Tour2021 season.