Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Red Sea Little Venice Open 
Sokhna Golf Club, February 25-27, 2019
It's Ben Wheeler's time, at last!
Winner Ben Wheeler, 26, with the trophy, pictured with (from left)
 Richard and Alessandro Pia (Alps Tour), Federico Maccario (second), Ali Mohamed Ali (Sokhna GC) and Enrico Di Nitto (second).

27 February, 2019 - A par on the first play-off hole of the Red Sea Little Venice
 Open was enough for Englishman Ben Wheeler to finally catch the first title of
 his professional career, while Italians Enrico Di Nitto and Federico Maccario
– leaders respectively after the first and the second rounds – both missed their
second putts and had to settle for sharing second place on another quite windy
day in Egypt.
The three talented players had finished their third round tied at -6 – with Di Nitto
 returning the best card, a 68 (-4) after a disappointing second round ; Maccario
dropping one shot compared to the -7 he had on the previous day ; and Wheeler
adding a 69 to the 68-73 he had on his records.
Maccario and Di Nitto have both already won Alps Tour events in the past, but on
 Sokhna GC course, at last, it was Ben Wheeler’s time: « It’s such a relief » he
said, after holing a not-so-easy 3-ft putt, when his opponents had already
missed from a slightly further distance for bogeys. « I had been close a few times, especially last year, so I was really waiting for this moment » he conceded,  « although I’m
 a bit surprised it happened in such windy conditions; usually I don’t like them at
 all ».
Ben, 26, from South London, had joined Alps Tour back in 2016 having finished
 6th in the Qualifying School, and collected 7 more “top tens” since; in 2018 he
 ended in 12th position in the Order of Merit, playing 15 tournaments and totalling
 about 12.500 points. Now, after two tournaments he has already 6.500 points to
 his credit – more than a half than last year – and shares the leadership of the
 OoM with Frenchman Frederic Lacroix, winner of the first tournament of the
2019 Alps Tour schedule, the Ein Bay Open.
Experienced Argentinian Rafa Echenique had the best comeback with a round
in 66 (-6), made of six birdies and one bogey in the front nine holes, followed by
two more birdies and a bogey on the back nine, and shared fourth place with
Englishman Jack Clarkson, at -5.
The 50 players who made the cut could share a total prize money of 40,000
euros, with the winner cashing in 5,800 euros.
Next swing of the Egypt Winter Series will take place from March 25th to April 6th with three tournaments in a row played on three spectacular courses near Caire and the Pyramids, with a field of 132 players and a prize money of 40,000 euros each.
Stay tuned ! and the app « Alps Tour Golf » (on the App Store for iOS devices and Play Store for Android) will keep you updated on every news about Alps Tour.
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