Yates just one off the pace at Abruzzo Alps Open


Jonathan Yates (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Jonathan Yates fired a sizzling six-under par round of 65 to burst out of the blocks on day one of the Abruzzo Alps Open.

The Naas professional posted an eagle and six birdies in a stunning opening salvo, dropping two shots along the way to sit in a share of second, just one stroke behind Italian player, Edoardo Giletta.

It was also a good day for Dubliner David Carey who carded six birdies in his four-under 67 to sit in a share of tenth. Paul McBride and Rhys Clarke were back at even par while Gary Hurley (+5) and Simon Bryan (+9) completed the scoring on day one in Italy.


It was home player, Giletta, who only turned pro last year, that opened in style with an eagle on the first hole on his way to a seven-under par 64 and a one-stroke lead.

“I had a strong start with an eagle on hole number 1, a nice drive, a good second shot and I holed a great putt, it was unexpected,” said Giletta. “On 12 I hit a bad shot, went into the water, and took a drop but I reacted promptly with a birdie the following hole and another birdie before the end. I was very concentrated today and tonight I will speak with my coach about the strategy for tomorrow.”

Hot on his heels at -6 (65) are four players, including Yates, however, first into the clubhouse and leader after the morning rounds was the Italian amateur Alessandro Nardini. The 17-year-old started from the 10th and fired six birdies, three each nine, on his bogey-free card.

“The back nine are more difficult but I started strong with -3 so a good game and especially the putting,” said the teen.

“On the front nine I kept playing well, so I’m very happy about it. I’m a very positive kind of player on the course, I don’t lose confidence if a hole goes wrong, on the contrary, I try to do better on the next and recover, that’s my attitude. I’m super happy to be up there on the leader board in a pro tournament, but this doesn’t mean I am as good as the pros yet! I’m happy to be here and play with them and will try to learn from them.”

Meanwhile, the French amateur Paul Margolis is having a series of firsts on the Alps Tour this season. He had his first victory in a pro tournament when he won the previous tournament, the MIRA Live the Soul Open and on Thursday, on the 186 metre, par-3 second hole, he had his first ever hole-in-one after a majestic 6 iron shot. He finished at -2 (69) for the day.

With a total of 67 players at par or under, the tournament is still wide open. The Miglianico Golf & Country Club course is in pristine condition, both fairways and greens, plus the weather promises to continue to be clement which are all favourable signs for some great golf in Round 2 heading for the cut at the end of the day.


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