Eight Irish in action as Alps Tour tees off in Egypt

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James Sugrue (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

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The 2022 Alps Tour schedule teed off in Egypt today with eight Irish hopefuls in action at the season-opening Ein Bay Open.

With five Challenge Tour cards at stake for the best players in this year’s Order of Merit, Dubliner David Carey leads Ireland’s satellite tour stars into battle having finished just outside the top-10 on last season’s money-list.

Mallow’s James Sugrue will have high hopes of hitting the ground running alongside his former Walker Cup teammate, Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell after both players turned pro in tandem with a certain pandemic coming to town, their playing schedules decimated and opportunity gone with it so far in their fledgling careers.

2022 will be about making up for lost time for many of Ireland’s fairway talents with the established Alps Tour cohort of Jonathan Yates, Gary Hurley, Paul McBride and Simon Bryan joined by Kilkenny’s Luke Donnelly as they attempt to use the Alps circuit as a springboard to the Challenge Tour and beyond.

Egypt is once again the ideal stage for starting the touring season, as has been the case since 2013, including the last two complicated years. For the 10th time, in fact, the Sokhna Golf Club will host this week’s Ein Bay Open (February 22-24) and the Red Sea Little Venice Open (Febr. 27 – March 1).

These two traditional events taking place on the shores of the Suez Gulf will be followed by the return of the New Giza Open (March 4-6) at stunning New Giza Golf Club near Cairo, some 160 km North West of Sokhna and built by the Australian golf architect Tim Lobb with amazing views of the famous Pyramids of Giza. It will be the second experience for the Alps Tour at New Giza, after the debut event in March 2019 won by Italian Lorenzo Scalise, now a Challenge Tour regular.

The 2022 schedule – which should count 18 tournaments in all, with €40,000 prize money each – will then resume in the last week of March with a “Spring Series” in Italy, two events yet to be confirmed, followed by the traditional stop in Miglianico (centre of Italy) for the 8th edition of the Abruzzo Alps Open (April 13-15).

May, June and July are going to be quite busy, with the Italy Alps event (May 5-7) on a venue to be announced, then in Austria for the 30th edition of the Gösser Open at the Golf Club Erzherzog Johann (May 19-21), the 8th edition of the Memorial Giorgio Bordoni at La Pinetina, Italy (May 25-27). We will cross the Atlantic Sea for the Open de St Francois in Guadeloupe (June 2-4), then back to France for the 18th edition of the Open de la Mirabelle d’Or (June 17-19), and straight to Spain for the Alps de Andalucia (June 23-25); back to France for the Aa St Omer mixed Open (June 30 – July 2) with the LET Access, Spain again with Alps de las Castillas (July 7-9) and La Gomera island with the Alps de la Gomera (July 14-16).

The final part of the season will be in Italy, with one event in July (21-23), then the Albarella Alps Open near Venice (September 29 – October 1), and the Grand Final (October 6-8) to finish with a special celebration and the best performing players of the year.

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