19th September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Magnifico! – Matteo Manassero Claims Victory at Toscana Open

Grosseto, 19th September 2020 – At the end of an incredibly exciting round, Matteo Manassero sank a birdie putt on the 18th to win the 2020 Toscana Alps Open here at the Golf Club Toscana.

He had tweeted in January of this year that he was working with coach James Ridyard and that things were “moving forward nicely, step by step without rushing”. This win seems to augur well for the efficacity of his approach. Let’s hope that we will be seeing a lot more of Matteo Manassero out on the fairways in the not too distant future.

It’s very nice obviously, going back to winning a tournament is always a great pleasure and a great feeling, anywhere this happens“, said Manassero just after finishing his round. “I’m really happy and I’m really proud about the way I’ve played today, to be honest. After a long time and a lot of work, it’s a big achievement being able to run the right mindset everyday since the start until the end and I’m happy that the game supported, the putt supported, everything was on point; so yeah, I guess I’ve started the week thinking whether the work was good or not, and I guess it’s in good place”.

Until the end I just kept on playing and did not know whether I was leading, I didn’t watch, in fact on 18 I wasn’t sure; well, I guessed, but I didn’t know if I would win by many or by one, or if I needed a birdie.. part of the work has been to stay really on what I am doing and on the things that are under my control, and the leaderboard is not under my control; in the end I did well not to look at it, right?

The Italian had an intense battle in his round with Spanish playing partner, Angel Hidalgo Portillo, yesterday’s leader. The Spaniard had confessed to having some club problems in Round 2 and they seemed to be manifesting themselves again in Round 3 as he started with three bogeys on the first four holes to be at -13. Manassero, on the other hand, had yet another solid start with straight pars then birdie at the 4th to move to -15.

Spaniard Angel Hidalgo Portillo and Italian Matteo Manassero on the 18th green. Credit Alessandro Bellicini/Italianprotour

Portillo settled down and had two birdies and two pars to finish, putting him on -13 at the tenth, +1 (37) for the front nine. Manassero, however, with a birdie and an eagle to complete his nine, moved to -17.

A par each on the 10th, then Manassero dropped a shot on the 11th with a bogey whilst Portillo birdied to draw within two strokes of the Italian : -16 versus -14.

Birdie on the 13th for Portillo and par for Manassero put them at -15 and -16 respectively. Reverse roles on the 14th with birdie for Manassero and par for Portillo.

The Italian birdied the next two holes and seemed unstoppable whilst the Spaniard had just one birdie. Teeing off at the 17th, Manassero was at -19 and Portillo at -16. Then came the spanner in the works, bogey for Manassero and birdie for Portillo. Literally, everything to play for on the 18th hole par 5.

Portillo had the honours and when he reached the green his putter did not let him down and he holed out for birdie. Level scores at -18 each as Manassero lined up his final putt. In it dropped and Matteo Manassero could savour his first victory in a professional tournament since 2013.

In third place was the Spanish player, Manuel Elvira at 196 (-17). He had seemed also to be in contention for the title with birdies and pars through the 15th, but two bogeys saw the title move out of his grasp despite an eagle on the 18th.

The best round of the day was a -7 (64) and interestingly enough, all the players in the final round finished at least one stroke under par. The best round of the week -9 (62) came from the Italian amateur, Andrea Romano, leader on Day 1 who finished in joint eleventh position at 201 (-12).

Angel Hidalgo Portillo’s second place today moves him up eight places to sixth on the Order of Merit. Manuel Elvira moves up six slots to eleventh but no change at the top with Jordi Garcia Del Moral from Spain in first place.

Next stop Spain and the Andalucia Open. The Gary Player designed Zaudin Golf Club in Seville will welcome the players from 23rd to 25th September, so “hasta pronto” for more great golf from the rising stars of the Alps Tour!

Results Final Round: click here

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18th September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Angel Hidalgo Portillo Edges in Front Round 2 at Toscana Alps Open

Grosseto, 18th September 2020 – A birdie on the last hole secured the lead position for Angel Hidalgo Portillo here at the Toscana Alps Open. He carded a -6 (65) for the day which put him one shot ahead of the nearest contender.

“It was a good start as I made five birdies in the first six holes, but I had some problems with my driver and putting during this second round. It was very hot but also very windy at certain points on the course.”

He finished the outward nine at -5 (30) with one bogey among his birdies and pars. At this point he was joint leader at -13. The club difficulties he mentioned then caused him two bogeys on the back nine which he compensated for with two birdies to manage to stay at the top of the board. A welcome birdie on the final par 5 made the small but vital difference to put the Spanish player in first place.

In second place at 129 (-13) Matteo Manassero from Italy, teed of this morning in joint second place at -8 and moved into the lead as of hole one with a sweet little birdie on the par four 10th. With three more pars and a bogey-free front nine, he started to head for home at -12. Two more birdies moved him up to -14 but a lone bogey on the 7th par 4 dropped him back a shot but he still entered the clubhouse as leader at this stage.

Today was good, it was solid, very similar to yesterday to be honest. I came here without expecting much, it was just to see where I was with preparation and with the work I’ve done the last month, so I ‘m happy with the way I played and hoping for a good one again tomorrow.”

In joint third place at 130 (-12) are the Frenchman Leo Lespinasse and the Spaniard Manuel Elvira yesterday’s joint fifth finishers. Both carded -5 (66) for the day with six and five birdies respectively but one bogey for Lespinasse.

In position five, two strokes behind them at 132 (-10) is a threesome made up of Alejandro Del Rey from Spain, last week’s winner of the Open de la Mirabelle d’Or. He had a sensational round of -7 (64) demonstrating once again his intense concentration and focus. Thomas Elissalde from France, winner of four Alps Tour tournaments to date in his career, joins him with a -5 (66) for today. They have the Italian amateur, Gregorio De Leo for company with a -6 (65).

Sharing eighth position at 133 (-9) is Tomas Santos Silva from Portugal. He had seven birdies in all, but two bogeys dragged him down. With him is the French player Romain Guillon who played par going out and shot two birdies and an eagle coming in.

At 134 (-8) is a bunch of eight players including yesterday’s leader, the Italian amateur Andrea Romano. His game today was rather a mixed bag ranging from eagle to double bogey to finish with a +1 (72).

However, he made the cut which came at 138 (-4). In total 47 players go on to the final, 42 pros and 5 amateurs.

The players head out at 7:30am with the leaders’ flight teeing off at 11:07. The sun promises to shine all day but as the day goes on, wind gusts could come into play here at the Golf Club Toscana.


Results Round 2: click here

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17th September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

Andrea Romano Leads after Round 1 Toscana Alps Open

Grosseto, 17th September 2020 – The Italian amateur, Andrea Romano, sits at the top of the leader board by one point after carding a first day -9 (62) here at the Golf Club Toscana.

He started off the 10th with a brilliant two birdies and an eagle followed by a par but then there was a bit of drama. Walking down the 14th fairway he was hit in the chest by a wayward ball:

“It all happened so quickly. I stopped for about ten minutes and then took a pill and carried on. It was hurting all the way round, but I didn’t let it distract me from my game.”

He finished the first nine with a -4 (31) after two bogeys and two birdies but was error-free on the back nine with five birdies for a -5 (31).

Romano played in the European Amateur Team Championship in the Netherlands a week ago:

” It was a nice experience representing Italy in that tournament. We won all our matches in the qualifications but finally finished fourth but were very happy.”

In joint second place at -8 (63) are three players. Xavier Poncelet from France, winner of the 2012 Open de la Mirabelle d’Or and recent victor of the 2020 Arcachon Open, had a terrific outward nine teeing off from the 10th with a -6 (29) featuring four birdies and an eagle on the 15th par 5. Three more birdies and just one bogey saw him at -2 (34) on the inward nine. The other two players went off the 1st; Matteo Manassero from Italy on good form  had a smooth, bogey-free round and eight birdies; and the third member of the trio, Spanish player, Angel Hidalgo Portillo, winner of the Alps Tour 2018 Qualifying School. He had a total of nine birdies but a bogey on the 16th par 3 kept him short of the top of the leader board.

Tied for fifth place at -7 (64) are Manuel Elvira from Spain and Leo Lespinasse from France. Despite a bogey on the 14th par four, Elvira carded a -6 (29) for his outward nine, holing five birdies and finishing with an eagle and then -1 (35) coming in. For Lespinasse, the 2016 winner of the Open de St Francois Guadeloupe, there was not a bogey in sight on his card but seven birdies.

Three players make up the top ten, all at -6 (65). From France, Julien Forêt, would dearly like his first win on the Alps Tour after forty-one top ten finishes. His six birdies and no bogeys get him off to a great start to achieving it. Gregory Molteni had just one bogey alongside his seven birdies. His fellow Italian, Takayuki A Matsui, in his first year as a professional, had 2 bogeys and eight birdies.

We then have six players at -5 (66) and fourteen players at -4 (67). It is early days and with such close scores, anything could happen on day two and the cut.

Tomorrow promises to be another beautiful day in the Tuscany countryside. Play starts at 7:40am from tees one and ten for the morning flights and 12:20pm for the afternoon.


Results Round 1: click here

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15th September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

A Welcome Return to Tuscany

Grosseto, 15th September 2020 – The Alps Tour last visited the Golf Club Toscana back in 2011 for the Qualifying School so it is with great pleasure that they return here for the sixth tournament of the 2020 season, the Toscana Alps Open.

Located in the region of Maremma in Southern Tuscany, the par 71, 6249yds / 5714m course designed by Keith Preston, opened in 1999. Set amid vineyards, olive groves, parasol pines and Tuscan cypress trees, the course ranks among one of the most attractive in Italy.

The terrain starts off flat but rapidly becomes undulating to hilly. Whilst not overly long, the numerous water hazards that come into play on at least nine holes can be brutal for wayward shots. The greens are large but sloping with multiple breaks and notoriously hard to read. Out of bounds area lie close to some fairways, with bushes, and dense rough to complicate matters further. A technical course that requires accurate play from tee to green and precise putting to score low.

The signature hole is the 18th, a long par 5, 528 yds/483m. The view from the raised tee box provides a breath-taking panorama, looking out over the Tyrrhenian Sea to the islands of Elba and Corsica.

This is what awaits the 125 players teeing off on Friday. Of the 16 nationalities represented, there are 104 professionals and 21 amateurs. All the top ten on the Order of Merit are present including the winners of the previous five tournaments: the Spanish players, Alejandro Del Rey, last week’s winner of the Open de la Mirabelle d’Or and Jordi Garcia Del Moral, victor at the Cervino Open. The Austrian Lukas Nemecz who triumphed on home territory at the Gösser Open and the winners of the Egyptian Series, Stefano Mazzoli from Italy for the Red Sea Little Venice Open and from the Netherlands, Lars Keunen for the Ein Bay Open.

Among the 51 strong Italian field, we notably have the presence of Matteo Manasseo who currently plays on the European Tour. He was the youngest winner of the British Amateur Championship in 2009 and the same year, won the silver medal for best amateur in Open Championship. In April 2010 he became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters Tournament, where he finished in a tie for 36th place – the best performance by a European amateur for 73 years. He turned professional two weeks after his 17th birthday and became the youngest winner in European Tour history with victory in the 2010 Castello Masters. With two more wins at the Maybank Malaysian Open in 2011 and the Barclays Singapore Open in 2012, he became the first teenager to win three times on the European Tour. His fourth win before the age of 20 was at the 2013 BMW PGA Championship.

We also have Emanuele Canonica, a former European Tour player who won the 2005 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. A prodigious long-distance hitter, he also won the European Tour Statistics Driving Distance category three years in a row from 1998 to 2000.

So, an interesting field and the weather looks set to be favourable for the duration of the tournament, promising to be hot and sunny, rising to a maximum temperature of 32°C/90°F. Sunscreen could definitely be a good addition to the bag.


Entries: click here

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13th September 2020 | Alps Tour Golf

A Golden Win for Alejandro Del Rey at the Mirabelle d’Or

Metz, 13th September 2020 – The battle went right down to the line today between the two Spanish players, Alejandro Del Rey and Lucas Vacarisas here at the Open de la Mirabelle d’Or at the Golf de la Grange des Ormes. But the final putt on the 18th secured victory for Del Rey by just one shot, his first victory since turning professional earlier this year.

Teeing off together at 11:15am, Vacarisas held the advantage after nine holes with three birdies and a -3 (32):

“I started by playing very good golf and although I didn’t hole all my putts, I just tried to stay focussed on my game.”

Del Rey on the other hand did not fare so well going out with just one birdie and two bogeys:

“It was pretty tough. I didn’t play great the first nine holes. I couldn’t hole anything with the putter. I struggled a bit and shot 36 (+1) on the front and wasn’t too happy about it.”

So, on the tenth, the scores stood at -17 for Vacarisas and -13 for Del Rey. Over the next four holes, Vacarisas missed a couple of birdie putts and then bogeyed the 13th. Meanwhile, Del Rey was making his comeback with three birdies and a par to leave them level at -16 teeing up on on the 14th.

Par for both and then Del Rey bogeyed the 15th to go to -15, but Vacarisas followed with an unfortunate double-bogey to fall back to -14 and give Del Rey a one stroke lead. Three holes to go and the two players stayed extremely focussed with three pars for each of them, enough to secure victory for Del Rey  with 198 (-15).

“I played really good, way better than the front so I managed to get a 34 on the back, just barely enough to beat Lucas. I’m happy now but it’s been a stressful day so I tried to stay really focussed and I was still in it when I finished so I didn’t celebrate too much at the end of the 18th but now I’m happy, I’m realising it more.”

Lucas Vacarisas, despite his disappointment showed his sportsmanship and his fighting spirit:

“Congrats to Alejandro for making the putt on the 18th to beat me and we’ll see at the next event.”

Alejandro Del Rey savoured his victory particularly in view of some recent tough times:

“It was a really nice week to get back to being on the top. I’ve been struggling the past couple of months and this is my first cut as a pro, so not a bad way to start the season.”

In joint third place at 202 (-11) it is good to see two rookies: Jeong Weon Ko from France and Matias Calderon from Chile alongside Jonathan Yates from Ireland. Ko, from the Golf de Bussy-Guermantes in the greater Paris region, makes this his third, and best so far, top ten finish of the season. For Calderon, this is his first tournament of the season and marks a good debut. Yates, in his second Alps Tour season, cards up top-ten-finish number two this year and seventh overall.

For the next tournament, the Alps Tour players return to Italy and the beauty of the Tuscany countryside for the Toscana Alps Open from 17th to 20th September at the Golf Club Toscana in Grosseto. The Pro-Am takes place on Wednesday the 16th.


Final Results: click here

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