Yates savours family gathering as he takes sixth on Alps Tour

John Craven

Jonathan Yates - Picture by Pat Cashman

John Craven

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Jonathan Yates enjoyed a brilliant weekend at the Alps Tour’s Open de la Mirabelle d’Or, made all the more special by his Mam and Dad making the trip to France to see him play and take another top-10.

The Naas professional managed to cut out the mistakes that ultimately scuppered his hopes of contending on day one to fire rounds of 66 and 67 under his parents’ watchful eye, recording 10 birdies and just the one bogey in some hot scoring that few matched over the closing 36-holes.

“It was a really enjoyable week, a really different week,” reflected Yates, whose 10-under tally saw him take a share of sixth spot, while he collected €1,634 for the effort.

“It was the first time my parents came out to see an event and it was the first time they’ve seen me play as a pro so that was great fun. It was a really great one to come to as well; the golf course was fantastic and the weather was brilliant.”

Despite the conditions and the impression of the result, however, Yates largely struggled with his game over the three days but credited a conversation with coach, Gavin Lunny at Naas for his ability to hang tough and grind out a number without his A game.

“It was a tough course – you had to be in play and personally I didn’t have my best stuff this week, but my game plan was really good,” said Yates.

“I got a good look at the golf course, saw how I wanted to play it and it was something I talked about with Gav during the week. Just making a better plan, preparing better, and just figuring out the best way to get around the course and I achieved that.

“I certainly didn’t have as much control over my long game as I’ve had in previous weeks but I managed to plot my way around and putted really well so I’m happy with sixth place – could have been better, could have been worse. Overall there was a lot of positives and it was great for my parents to be there to see it.”

Far from basking in the glory of another quality finish, the Kildare man’s attention had turned to tomorrow’s Open Qualifier where he’ll look to secure a spot at Royal Portrush, ahead of next week’s trip to Moyvalley where he’ll attempt to qualify for his own National Open at Lahinch a week later.

“I’m really looking forward to the next couple of weeks and hopefully I can keep building from here.”

With plenty of Irish at the event, The Island’s Paul McBride enjoyed a top-20 finish despite only carding an even par effort on Sunday. McBride’s six-under par total was good enough for a share of 18th place, one shot better than Castleknock’s David Carey and two strokes better than 28-year old Druids Heath professional Simon Bryan who both claimed top-30 finishes.

At the top, Lars Van Miejel won the event by four strokes. Next up on the Alps Tour is the Saint-Malo Golf Mixed Open with LET Access Series in Brittany, July 4-7 where 72 male players and 72 female players will compete for the same trophy and 45,000 euros in prize money.

Full Scoring HERE

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