Yates off to a flier at Alps finale


Jonathan Yates - Picture by Pat Cashman

Naas professional Jonathan Yates fired a bogey-free five-under par round of 67 to make the perfect start to his Italian Alps Open bid.

Lying eleventh in this year’s Order of Merit, Yates would need a win and results to go his way in order to force his way into the top-3 spots on the money table, thereby earning one of three Challenge Tour cards on offer for next season.

He has enjoyed three top ten finishes this season with a runner-up position in February but has yet to nail his first win. In terms of opening rounds, it could hardly have been much better with the Lily White returning a sparkling bogey-free scorecard with three birdies and an eagle ‘2’ moving him to five-under par in Italy.

That’s just two shots shy of home favourite, Filippo Bergamaschi’s lead after the Italian shot a -7 (65) to head the leaderboard at Golf Nazionale ahead of round two.

Bergamaschi is a former Alps Tour player who went on to play on the Challenge Tour and the European Tour. He carded one eagle, six birdies and a sole bogey in a round that he described as perfect.

He was also glad to be back on an Alps Tour tournament as he acknowledged how much experience he gained from his time on the tour and what a great training ground it is to develop a player’s game.

However, right behind him is the Alps Tour rookie, Jeong Weon Ko at -6 (66). Ko is fresh from his first professional win at the Open PGA France last weekend. He had not been 100% happy with his game at Roissy but today was different:

“I was a little stressed on the first three holes,” he said. “I was confident of my game, but I knew it was an important tournament for me, so I felt some pressure. I managed the first three holes well, and after that it just came naturally.

“I had good drives, good irons, I made 18 greens in regulation which obviously helped. It was great to not have a single bogey which is what I’ve been trying to do since the beginning of the year, and this was the first time I have managed it. So, really happy with this first round. The score is no surprise considering the iron shots that I made and let’s hope it continues like that.”

Full scoring HERE


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